"In the beginning"


The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the blog management, (on the other hand, they are not necessarily not the views of the blog management).

No effort has been made to stay within the bounds of the truth in this blog as it has always been the view of the management that the truth should never be allowed to stand in the way of a good story.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The return trip across the Nullarbor

The hard thing about this post is knowing where to start and finish, it seems there is so much stuff that I want to post that I’m confused (not an altogether unusual state for me to be in.)

First because I just know that both Merle and Val will expect some
comment on the football…. there was a brief time during the 2nd quarter that I felt like talking about football… but it passed, for those who don’t understand that comment, the football team that Merle and Val support beat the team that I support in the pre-season competition, they proved to be the superior side pre-season… we’ll see what happens in the season proper!!

OK that covers the football, I have once again crossed the Nullarbor plain and arrived safely at Vicki and Rex’s home at Wudinna, it’s only a rest stop this time though as they are in Adelaide at the moment.

Getting here proved to be an interesting exercise, when I left Perth I went to visit some old friends who live on a property at Beverley, we had an enjoyable visit that lasted for an afternoon and night (late!!) then I said my farewells and left to commence my trip towards home, trouble was I left my mobile phone (which I hate with an almost violent hate) and my wallet there, I got 250 kms up the track before I discovered this so had to use a public phone to check that my wallet was there… it was!!... so I told Joan that I would have to come back for it as I needed my credit card to finance the trip home, at this time the money I had put in the phone ran out so the conversation ended.

With a heavy heart I turned the car around and headed back whence I had come, along the way most passing motorists wave to one another in the Australian bush so I was waving away too, one motorist even flashed his lights at me, what a friendly sort thought I…. you know where I’m going with this don’t you… I arrived back at the farm to find no one at home and about 10 minutes later in came Neil and Joan with the phone and wallet they had taken about 100 klms towards where I had phoned from to save me having to return the full distance!!!!

So I have… started a 2000 klm drive of with a 500 klm warm up run… wasted 6 hours and $50.00 worth of fuel… and caused my friends to drive 200 klm as well, a word of explanation… they turned around and chased me when they saw my Subaru steam past them… now I’m not going to say that I was annoyed and speeding, I’ll just say their Utility had never traveled that fast before and it still wasn’t fast enough!!!

After abject apologies for having caused them so much trouble I set off again, by now I was about 7 hours behind schedule, a little stressed, and tiring fast, so instead of the 800/900 klm I had planned on traveling I only got about 500 klm (plus the wasted 500 klm) along the track and had to stop for a couple of hours sleep as I was starting to get very noddy.

I believe I may have also damaged my, “no animals were hurt in the making of this trip reputation too”, a little swamp Wallaby charged the car and collided with the side of it, I turned around and found him sitting in the middle of the roadway but when I got out to (a) take a photo of him, and (b) establish that he was unhurt, he hopped away seemingly alright… but he traveled much slower than he had when he hit the car at full tilt.. I’m hoping that he is OK, the car is unscathed so he must have hit it only a glancing blow.

As I didn’t have my Roo spotter Marcus with me I decided to tag along behind a road train for a while… let him clear the way of Roo’s for me, he maintained a pretty constant speed so it wasn’t any problem to sit 20 or 30 meters behind him, after a couple of hours of this however the back of the trailer seemed to be changing shape and generally being a bit hard to concentrate on so I stopped for another sleep.

This whole story has yet another aspect to it… I have the ability to get lost in any town with two or more streets… this is entirely the fault of my second wife!!!! Julie was an excellent navigator and would tell me what to do and where to go (even when we were in the car… Ooops, that’ll get back won’t it Wazza) consequently I just had to follow her instructions and I wouldn’t get lost, but then we separated and I have perfected the art of getting lost!!

Jacqui’s husband Walter has recently bought a GPS (Global Positioning System) unit for his car and after both he and Marcus bent my ear about the joy of never getting lost again I bit the bullet and bought one also, those of you who know about them will know how great they are and those that don’t can take my word for it…. BUT… there just had to be a but didn’t there, this is another electronic device that I have to learn how to use.

My first problem is quite closely related to my hatred of mobile phones (cell phones) one of the many things I dislike about them is “texting” not that I have ever “texed” but people walking blindly along the sidewalk, or anywhere else, texting someone they saw 4 minutes ago anyway… so I had to ring my favourite daughter to find out how to do this so that I could enter the address I wanted to go to.

The first address I entered was that of my son who I was going to stay with, Bruce lives in a fairly new suburb that I have visited several times (and got lost in EVERY time) so I was delighted when the charming female voice told me to drive carefully and to take the next RH turn, she then gave me precise instructions to proceed through several round-abouts taking the 2nd exit, which I found amounted to going straight ahead, we were getting along like a house on fire until suddenly I came across…. a fire…. that had caused the highway to be closed, taking the detour that was on offer was fine until Sally the SAT-NAV started to tell me to take the next RH turn at every road that came up, other times she would tell me to make a U turn, now in lots of cases these were little gravel roads that obviously didn’t go anywhere… so I ignored her… many, many times, it seems that what was happening was that Sall wanted me to return to the original route, she was quite oblivious to the fact that there was a fire… although I told her so … A LOT.

The detour that we had been put on was “the OLD coast road” which I knew would get us to much the same place eventually and SHE should have just plotted an alternative route but SHE didn’t!!

Some portion of blame for this situation is no doubt due to my very brief acquaintance with Sall and was resolved by me putting the address in again with my current location as the point of origin.

Our relationship has been brief but stormy so far, but I do find that if I fluke giving the right destination and other details she feels she is entitled to, her directions while quite repetitive are in fact helpful in resolving the “I’m lost Syndrome” so there is some chance we will become compatible eventually, on the other hand I may well just be lost electronically as well as physically.

As usual I have lots of photos and probably more stuff to post but it’s getting late and I desperately need to catch up on my sleep so that will have to wait!!


Carolyn said...

Peter, that was a very interesting write-up! I felt your pain having to turn around to retrive your forgotten items, and also the silly feeling of passing your friends w/out recognizing them. Been there, lol! I don't have a GPS in my car. I usually print out directions from MapQuest on the PC, but they are not always good directions either. None of these devices are alerted to road work detours, etc., and seems I always get off on an exit that leads to nowhere, lol!

Raggedy said...

I enjoyed your post!
Thank you for bringing us along.
I am sorry you had to go back for your things but it made a great entry to the blog.
I haven't tried a GPS. I did not realize they talked to you.
Get rested up.
Safe journey,
Take Care,

Walker said...

This is becoming quite the adventure.
Sucks that you forgot your cell and wallet and had to backtrack 500k to get them back.
I was thinking of getting a GPS but its to big for my wrist.
Drive safe and looking forward to the next installment.

wazza said...

Gidday Peter,
Ah the ole' navigation and getting lost eh!!
Could tell them a few funny stories (but wouldn't want to embarrass you)
What you say surely Wazza wouldn't want to pass up a opportunity to tell a few Holtie stories. Nope this is the new me?
Good to see you arrived back safe across the Nullabor.
Loved the story. Reminds me of the trip we did to Perth in 2002. Can you believe that was 5 years ago?

Merle said...

Hi Peter ~~ Sorry you had to back-track and waste so much time and money and energy. Glad you were safely at Wudinna last night. I taped the football, but doubt you will want to watch it. The brief time in 2nd quarter you mentioned, I thought we were a goner, but we came back!! Unlike previous games.
Those Nav Cams are good I believe. My nephew has one, and they left a Thermos here and had to come back and the Voice kept saying, No No etc. Looking forward to seeing you
soon. Take care, Love, Merle.

Marcus said...

Despite, or perhaps because of the left behind wallet and phone drama, that's one of your best ever posts I reckon!

I find it's good to stop driving before the nods set in!

Laughed at the true blogging spirit you displayed upon collecting the wallaby, camera first, animal welfare second!!

Granny said...

Peter, we have a device here that attaches to the bumper and scares off deer. I understand it works well.

I don't know if it would work for your marsupials but you might check it out.

Maybe I can find a link.

Granny said...

deer warning

Jim said...

Hi Peter -- That was an excellent write-up of a terrible day on the road. Glad you got some good mileage with the post.
I am sorry you didn't get your picture. I don't know what a wallabee is. There in a song but still haven't seen a picture.
Mrs. Jim says they are in the kangaroo family but she hasn't seen one either.
Mrs. Jim is my navigator. That trait is on my list of reasons for keeping her around. :)

Val said...


quite a few things here to comment on (I won't mention the football though, although did you hear that Carlton won? heh heh)

Anyway, I had to laugh when you were talking about your ability to get lost after you no longer had wife number 2 to navigate for you. I happen to be the navigator in our family, and hubby has always said that nothing had better happen to me because he'd never be able to find his way around by himself.

Wallaby bounding off afterwards, seemingly not much worse for wear? Yep, and that's usually after the offending vehicle looks a mess.

I'm right with you there about mobile phones, and especially the people who blindly walk along, obscenely fingering their little techno gadgets, and everyone else had better get out of their way. I am working myself up the courage to actually walk into these bozos, or just give them a good hip and shoulder as I stride by. ("Oh I'm so sorry, I wasn't watching where I was going...")

Very entertaining road trip, Peter. I look forward to further instalments.

Jacqui said...

I too really enjoyed this post, it made me lol. I'm interested to know how the GPS got her name.

Meow said...

Hey, Peter, great post. Sorry you had to backtrack, and waste all that time and money. Glad it all worked out in the end. Hope you get to figure out Sally eventually. She may become your next best friend !!! A GPS is something we hope to get one day ... oh to win Lotto !!!
Hope your treck from SA to Shepparton goes smoothly !!
Take care, Meow

Lee said...

Great post, Peter. I empathise with you...there's nothing worse than having to back-track! Safe trip on to Merle's...look forward to your further stories.

aimee said...

it was good to see you and catch up =)

i think the getting lost runs in the family... thanks alot!!!

lots of love aimee xoxox

Jeanette said...

Hi Peter. Sorry to hear you had to back track to retieve your mobile and wallet, and add extra time to your trip.As far as getting lost I used to do the navigating on our trips and when i took the wheel Alan would go to sleep and I had to navigate and drive. have a safe trip to Merles. and look forward to catching up with you and seeing all your photo's. Jan

LZ Blogger said...

Peter ~ Sounds like an exciting trip! Hope you got rested up by now! ~ jb///

2Peter said...

Very entertaining post Peter! A good read.

Hope you and Sally enjoy the rest of the trip home!

kenju said...

I can vouch for the GPS, Peter, it is a wonderful thing! You reminded me of trip we took, and I left my purse on the floor in a restauant. I had no hopes of finding it 3 hrs. later, but the manager had put it in the safe for me.