"One Dead Kangaroo, two dead Kangaroos...!"

Trip Start Oct 04, 2004
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Trip End Ongoing


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Thursday, May 19, 2005

By day 4 the driving was starting to get a little tedious, so we kept ourselves amused by aiming at the many crows eating the remains of the kangaroos. I can glady say we got a couple of the vultures!!

Day 4 was by far the longest of all days at a total of 900kms (about 600miles). The 'highlight' of the day was driving along Australia's longest straight road - 90 miles long! That said it did get a bit more interesting, when, about half way along, the road turned into the Royal Flying Doctors Service' runway. Apparently if you see a plane circling above, you have to get off the runway sharpish, sadly, at this time we didn't. That would have been a good photo!

Another random thing i saw out here was a dead tree with about 20 pairs of flip flops (or thongs, as they call them in oz) hanging from its branches. Sadly I didn't get a photo as by the time i actually realised what i just saw, it was too late. I would love to know who started it, and sods law, my flip flops broke that evening, so they to could have been hanged also!

The aim was to drive just 700kms to a town called Norseman, but upon arrival, we realised what a dump the place really was, and god there were some ugly people there. Because of this we made the decision to crack onto Kalgoorlie, a gold mining town 200 kms North, which apparently had a 'good' nightlife.

Kalgoorlie is a town famous in Australia for producing record amounts of gold. Gold was found here as far back as the early 1800's, and since then people have been flocking in their thousands to make their millions!

Just to be in a place with a choice of bars was good enough for us, but because it was a Tuesday night, it wasn't particularly busy. Kalgoorlie is a refueling stop for the train that travels from Adelaide, giving the passengers 3 hours off the train to drink. But it only stops 2 times a week and Tuesday night isn't one of them!

Although quiet, we were impressed with the 'skimpy's'. Apparently in most country West Australian pubs you find girls serving you beer in their underwear - brilliant!! Usually backpackers trying to earn money, it made a nice change to the old, miserable, bar staff we had encountered along the way!

Before we left Kal, we made a quick stop at one of the worlds largest open gold mine's - the 'super' pit as they call it! Its hard to gain the size of the pit from the photo's, but if you look at the dump trucks, they are 6.4 metres high, and weigh 372 tonnes each! To give you an idea of the amount mined per day, they need to mine 220 tonnes of rock to get a 2 ounce nugget of gold, and by day they mine 232,000 tonnes!

We were now on day 5 and only 600kms away from Perth. Because we had driven 900 kms the previous day it meant 2 days of relatively short drives. Instead of heading straight to Perth, we decided to do a small detour down a small road, to a place called Hyden, home of the famous Wave Rock. Although the map stated it was an unsealed road, we didn't realise that that meant dirt track. By the time we realised it was to late, so we carried on at a much slower pace!

We finally arrived at wave rock just before sunset, so after the obligatory 'surfing' photo, we climbed up to watch the sun set over the land we had just driven across. From up here you really realise how big Australia is.

Whilst we sat watching the sun set, beer in one hand, camera in the other, we both commented on how much we enjoyed the drive, and how we would both carry on around the country if we were allowed. Granted the evenings did get a bit boring at times, but you see so much more of the 'real' Australia than you would by train or plane.

The last day was uneventful. With only 250kms to Perth, we took it easy. The only thing we noticed was how green the land had got. It was just like driving through rural England!

With an hour to spare we dropped the van off at the depot, not before washing off all the red mud. Apparently your not allowed to take their vans off road, something we only discovered on the last day!

All in all, food, petrol and campsite fees, we paid around $200 (80) each, not bad when you think how far we drove. Especially if you think how much more we would have paid if we had bought a car ourselves. Yes relocating does have its drawbacks, the maximum mileage and time limit being two of them, but for the poor backpacker its the way forward, ever if the rental company receptionists are miserable cows!!
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