The Nullarbor sunrise burst on to us with a blaze of colour, the treeless, flat horizon opening us up to its full force. It was a slow morning as we took advantage of the mobile coverage again, and caught up with family, friends and old mate, Joc. He still hadn’t poo’d. Oh well, the doctors would sort that out. We enjoyed omelettes for breakfast made from eggs from the Nullarbor; Carl whipped these up and will be doing so regularly at home from now on.
We had another look around Cook, all thinking that it would be nice to spend a bit more time here as there was a lot of history as well as the railway action. There is always a bit of gunzel in every boy; the previous evening we gathered to put coins on the rail for the trains to run over again, as we had done a year or two ago at Kingoonya. We met up with Caretakers Ian and Regina again and thanked them for their hospitality and support; Ian had given us a map and a briefing on some caves in the area so we set off down the ‘Cook Highway’ to check them out.
Cook Highway is the local name for the road across the plain to Nullarbor Roadhouse; we think there is actually a Cook Highway elsewhere in Australia. On this road south of Cook there were no trees whatsoever, unlike to the north. Luckily we had the map that Ian and Regina made as we would not have found the great caves we visited. The first was entered by a small hole; inside it opened up into a cavern. The second ‘cave’, known as Knowles Cave, was a cavern that had fallen in. We explored the area, looking at the local birds, watching out for wriggly sticks and enjoying some fossicking for fossils which were abundant in the area. We tucked in to ham and salad wraps for lunch as our bread was pretty much shot by now.
On down to Nullarbor Roadhouse we went and we found it to be an expensive and grumpy place. The fuel was cheaper by 35 cents a litre down the road at Nundroo and our expectations on stocking up on some items were dashed as they had stuff all. We bought expensive bread and milk and went out on to the Eyre Highway to get to Fowler’s Bay, our home for the night.
A quickish trip ended in Fowlers Bay, a beautiful and historic spot. All up we covered 300 kilometres for the day, and by getting to Fowlers, completed a crossing of the Nullarbor Plain – from north to south! That’s one that not a lot of people can hang their hat on. We got a couple of campsites in the Fowlers Bay Caravan Park and pitched our swags in various places, all trying to get out of the consistent and pestering wind coming off the ocean. We used the camp kitchen to eat some steaks cooked up by Stevie Larke, whose culinary skills are unquestionable. We finished the night comparing notes with the many grey nomads who were present and eager to share stories with us, of their adventures and ideas.