Throughout the day the temperature stayed at a reasonable level so it was much more pleasant to stop along the side of the road through the day for a rest or for refuelling at the roadhouses compared to the day before when the heat was so oppressive each time we opened the car door
. Also the landscape was more interesting with hills and more and more trees of varying heights. The roads on the WA side are particularly good and the many off road parking areas are sealed. At the Norseman Service Station we were suprised to both get free coffees after refuelling, which is usually only offered to the driver. The snack of choice which they sold there and didn't seem too greasy was the salt and pepper squid and crab sticks......which duly came back up 100kms later! When we left Balladonia the sky was overcast but through the day the clouds separated into lovely fluffy clouds of all different shapes.
We had a couple of roadside stops and at Coolgardie we pulled over by the park to use their toilets but again they were locked even though it was close to midday so we kept going till we were back on the open road to be able to pull over. Our last fuel and toilet stop was at Southern Cross and from there, as we had enough fuel to get us home, we kept going. We drove through the outskirts of Perth with the sun directly in front of us and were thankful to arrive safely home before dusk to a wonderful welcome by Lesley and Toby. Mike and Lesley headed to the local pizza take away to pick up our dinner and after a quick catch up chat, we were asleep tired from another long day's drive.
The following day was spent slowly unpacking and doing some laundry and then on Thursday Carissa came with our dear little grandchildren for a visit
. They were so happy to see us again after two months and we were equally delighted to see them and give them hugs. In the evening Andrew joined us after his day at school. He is well settled in his new job as Deputy head but otherwise no visible change unlike his children who had noticeably grown and changed in many ways. Lesley came home straight from work so we had a lovely family dinner together. On Friday we helped Lesley move her possessions back to her home and then on the Sunday all the family returned to our house after church to celebrate young Jayden's fourth birthday.
We have settled back home well after this our fourth big caravan trip, when combined, totalling about twelve months over four years, each time seeing a different part of this vast continent. There are still of course many places and areas we have not visited such as Tasmania, parts of the Northern Territory and the Victorian Alps but we look forward to more trips to include these places also at a later date.
What a difference we felt in the morning being well rested after a good night's sleep and waking up to a pleasant 22C. We had planned to have a sleep in and leave a little later, but being so tired the night before from the heat and long drive we went to bed early and thankfully it wasn't long before the breeze came through the windows and we slept well till 6am. With no more daylight saving being now in WA, the sun was up by then and as no point in staying in the Balladonia dust bowl any longer, we were back on the road by 7am. Before we left we spoke briefly to a Japanese who had been cycling for nine days in the heat from Perth and was all packed up ready for the 1,000 km stretch we had come in one day which would no doubt take him ten weary days.