Day 202 – Monday, 12 December 2022 

As we had only a reasonable distance to travel we set the alarm for 8:30am and had left the caravan park a little after 10:00am. 

We pulled into the BP Service Station and refuelled (we forgot to do it yesterday without the caravan attached). Fuel at Burra was $2.06 cents a litre. We finally bid the township of Burra a fond goodbye at 10:11am. 

It rained last night and on into the early hours of the morning, so the night was humid. It was only a gentle rainfall but enough to wet the ground and the windows of the van. When we woke up the sun was shining brightly, but the temperature was cool. 

To leave Burra we had to climb a long incline to get out of the valley and onto the Goyder Highway, and of course it was spitting with rain again (a passing sun shower) but at least today we had a tail wind. 

Today, for the very first time while towing the caravan, the fuel range increased as we continued. Normally the fuel range will only increase when we have stopped towing the van and started out on our sightseeing adventures. We sat on a fuel range of 494 for 28 kilometres – that’s the difference between a head wind and tail wind. 

By 10:30am there were only a few clouds left in the sky and the sun was shining brightly. We went past the turn off for World’s End Highway – an amazing name once more. The highway goes to Robertstown and Eudunda in the Flinders Ranges. 

We pulled over at one stage to stretch our legs and made a chiropractic appointment for later in the week. 

When we went past Morgan the temperature sat on 23 degrees and the flood waters could be seen from the highway. At one point when we went across a floodway the water was only about one metre from the top of the road surface and almost up to spilling over the road. 

After Morgan we encountered a section of road that had been resurfaced and our speed was restricted to 60 kph. This particular stretch of roadworks extended for approximately ten kilometres, and there was another section of two kilometres in length further along the highway. We have not seen such an extensive length of roadworks since leaving the north end of NT and WA. 

They had widened the road surface and put in roadway safety barriers but had not taken the bumps out of the road before doing the works. 

We stopped on the highway near Overland Corner (which is closed due to flooding) and took several photos of the inundated floodplain stretching out before us. The road to Barmera from the Adelaide direction is also closed, but there was a road further along that was the detour. 

Once we had travelled onto the Sturt Highway just before Renmark there was a decided increase in the volume of traffic going both ways. We saw as much traffic in the first two kilometres here as we had seen for the rest of today’s journey. 

We ate part of our lunch with our coffees while driving along and then finished the rest of our lunch in the layby after Yamba. We then crossed the SA-Victoria border at 2:22pm Victorian time. 

We did have to continue down the Sturt Highway once we got to Merbein as Ranfurly Way was closed to traffic due to flooding. So, we went towards the airport then turned into Walnut Avenue before making our way along Ontario Avenue towards home. 

When we finally parked the van om pour driveway it was 4:10pm. We did notice that the roadside verges alonmg the highway between Lake Culluleraine and Merbein has been taken over with the weed – Ice Plant – which is a type of succulent, so very hardy. 

We took the rest of the afternoon off after putting the power supply back onto the van for the fridge which will not get emptied until tomorrow some time. We won’t mention all that needs to be washed. 

It was lovely to see Brett when he arrived home from work at 6:15pm, and we had already been warmly greeted by Spook and Solly. Unfortunately, Solly is losing body tone as she is getting very frail, so I don’t think we will have her with us for much longer. She also appears to have lost the sight in one eye. It is so sad to have to say goodbye to your fur babies. 

We will head across to Benalla, via Bendigo due to road closures from flooding, and stay at Mum’s place on Thursday. We will finally be able to pull our weight with the house and assist Ann and Trevor.  

Mum has tested positive to Covid, and this is the first time she has contracted the dreaded nuisance. Hopefully, she will be out of isolation by the weekend, and we can spend some time with her on Christmas Day. She has just recently moved from Respite Care to a permanent resident at ESTIA Health. 

We travelled a total of 24,015 kilometres for the 202 days we were away from home. During that time, I took 38,233 photos, while the chauffeur managed a creditable 18,505 photos for a grand total of 56,738 photos. 

Out of all those photographs we put 2,556 photos into the Best folder, so you can see how many of them were either repeats or much of a muchness, so they weren’t worthy of featuring.  

All in all, we both had a wonderful time on the road with some good moments and some not so good moments (think snake). We tried to figure out what were our most enjoyable times and which Caravan Parks were worthy of a mention.  

We both enjoyed Kalbarri NP, probably comes out right after a wonderful month in Darwin with Kaye and Bruce. And Fogg’s Dam rates a mention for our two visits and the variety of bird life found there. We also enjoyed our rambles looking for wildflowers and birds in every vicinity, and the wreathflower would have been the highlight for me, probably the orchids for Russ. And the novelty of the first time across the Nullarbor with its magnificent views at the Great Australia Bight was another highlight.  

We enjoyed Mingenew, Moora and Ravensthorpe Caravan Parks, and Coober Pedy bears an honourable mention if only because it was freezing cold, and the scenery is different to most other places. In Russell’s opinion the worst park was at Kununurra because each site was close together, and our site was over the fence from the hotel so there were bottles being collected and making noise very early in the morning. 

There is still so much to see, but next time round we will return to WA across the Nullarbor both ways (stopping at places this time) and concentrate on the south-west section where we didn’t get to go this time.