Week Twelve . (Sunday 22 September until Sunday September 29)

Week 12 sees fosh make the final home stretch towards the east, and back home to Sydney. After Walpole, we make for Albany and visit the Torndirrup National Park, to see the parts of Australia that were once attached to Antartica. We re-stock, re-fuel and re-alcohol in Albany, before making off for Esperance which is our last sea side swim for some many many long kilometres. We stop in Cosy Corner for a sleep by the sea. Whilst driving the next day we pass by an overturned caravan accident. We stop to offer assistance being second on the scene. By the time we had spoken with the driver, a dozen or so people had stopped offering their assistance. We decided to move on, nothing much we could do anyway. In Esperance we swim in very cold, very blue waters before heading back outback. We take stock of our situation as money is running out very quickly. We calculate distances, fuel economy, cost per litre and food expenses and compare the results with places we want to visit. Melbourne is definately on the cards, but at what expense? After a comparitive analysis we decide that the coastal route from Adelaide to Melbourne, although longer in distance, would be not much more expensive as the petrol costs are cheaper than via the inland route. Also the coast would be more rewarding with Mt Gambier and the Great Ocean Road along the way.

We trek inland towards Norseman (no vikings there) and then eastbound to Balladonia where there is a museum of Skylab information. Skylab crashed nearby in 1979 (a year and one day before fo fo's birthday). After Balladonia, we start the Nullarbor proper with the longest straight stretch of road in Australia. The distance in a straight line is 146.6km. Of course, we add our own corners with crosswinds, turbulance from roadtrains and dodging roadkill victims. In fact the roadkill victims are spectacular and the intelligence of the feeding crows is unparralled with any other crow in this country. They are indeed smart to avoid being victims themselves. The Nullarbor is also one of the greatest challenges for cyclists, with the westbound route being a favorite with, as rumour has it, Japanese men trying to get into an exclusive club by testing their endurance and stamina by riding into strong headwinds and riding for kilometres into the foul stench of roadkill victims - (Did i mention they are peppered along along the Eyre HWY?) The roadtrains are also spectacular with all sorts of loads from caravans, forklifts, watertanks, triangle wheeled tractors, spaceships etc etc.

See part two of Week Twelve

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