ROAD TRIP UPDATE
As soon as I finished writing last week’s article, advising I was about to undertake an 8000km return trip to NSW to collect my new truck camper, I checked the weather forecast and unbelievably there were gale force winds, 4-5 metre swell and up to 45mm of rain predicted, just when I was intending to leave. Good old Aussie weather, as the previous day Perth had hit 42 degrees. When you are travelling in a truck and attempting to sleep in swags, rain is not really your best friend and we were also planning to take the 300km dirt road from Hyden to Norseman. So I rang my son Jay, who was co-pilot for the trip and told him to high tail it down south so we could pack up ASAP and try to beat the weather. We managed to dodge that bullet as reports of heavy rain and winter conditions came in from home and made it to Hyden on day one. Jay managed to catch a few tubes at Wave Rock late in the arvo and then it was 300km of dirt road to Norseman, where we came across part of the truckies hay convoy to assist farmers in NSW.
Next bullet to dodge was the 40-50 degree heat wave hitting the Nullarbor, which we did, with a strong westerly blowing us across the country. Spare a thought for Ruben and his wife Sam, who we met up with just out of Madura. They were part of the convoy when their hay load self-combusted, just managing to remove the rig before the whole lot went up. These guys were understandably still quite shaken the next morning, as the tow vehicle was hooking them up, with smoke wafting from the blackened trailers. We sympathised with their plight, especially given they were volunteering the own time and resources to help out others.
Having left a few days early, we were just able to stay just behind the heatwave and so made Penong on a mild 31 degree afternoon, when it had been 46 the day before. We had plans to stop whenever possible to check out the scenery and I was especially keen to see Cactus and reminisce about the first trip there back in 1985. However, early the next morning, Jay finds out he has been accepted into stage two of a job application and is required to do a fairly formal video interview within two days. So in two hours we have packed up, driven to Ceduna, bought formal clothes for Jay’s interview, booked into a decent hotel room, arranged hire of a board room for the interview and he is now researching and practising interview questions.
Just for something different, we are hoping to find a two up game in some remote NSW town tomorrow, but given Broken Hill is predicted 40+ degrees and is still nearly 900kms away, we probably won’t be making that in one day. So standby next week, as we may be searing, as opposed to soaring, across the nation.