There was a nip in the air but the morning was sunny and the westerly blew up the dust and that particular sweet, floral perfume that I’ve long associated with WA, though I’m actually in South Australia. I’d had such a good day that I was too late for a motel room at Eucla Roadhouse. The only available accommodation was, um, different and very much reminiscent of the shearers’ quarters of old. There was no internet, no power point, no kettle, no bedside table, no bedside light, no television (not that I was bothered about that), no insect screens and no en-suite. After a sleep that is best described as ‘ordinary’, the 0530 scrabble for the piece of paper with the vital toilet block combination wasn’t the best start to the day. Without messing about with breakfast, I hit the road.
There’s something about driving over piano keys without having wings attached. It feels sort of uncomfortable. There are a few straight stretches of the Eyre Highway that are designated landing strips for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
As we attempted to outrun the nasty weather that was chasing us, I reflected on the very pleasant evening I had spent at the Eucla Roadhouse in the company of a couple from Naracoorte. We dined in the restaurant – not cheaply – on the most exquisite locally caught pink snapper, grilled to perfection, while watching birds in the garden beyond the picture windows catching their supper. It has been my privilege to meet some really lovely people on this adventure and last evening’s encounter was memorable, for we had so much in common.
Rain overtook us within an hour of being on the road this morning and it kept pace with us until, thoroughly sick of it, I pulled in at Nundroo Roadhouse and checked into a motel unit. As I unloaded my case the wind almost bowled me over and thunder crackled and rolled and the rain came down even harder. Bugger.