Day 20 Balladonia to Baxter Rest Area

The weather cooled again, and with favourable winds Steve left at around 7:30am while I found a spot to set up for my daily task. I am passionate about art and art making, but it is still quite a challenge to produce something each day. To make it interesting I use different media most days – today watercolour paints, trying to capture the surrounding scrubland that is typical hereabouts.

2015-12-19 10.02.22

As is usually the case when I’m involved in doing some art, time flew and it was time to get petrol and leave. These stops in the Nullarbor, in case you haven’t had the pleasure of crossing it, tend to consist of a roadhouse (service station) a motel, snack bar, a bar (very important) and a caravan park with fairly basic facilities. Not much in other words – you think you’re going to come into a town, but no, just the roadhouse and accommodation…but a very welcome sight for Steve when he rolls in.

As for the rest stops, they are just that – a few picnic tables, shaded if you’re lucky, refuse bins and if you’re even luckier, a toilet. Today we are heading for our first overnight in a rest stop, which means we may get to use our solar shower and solar recharging unit for the first time, whoo hoo! We met some people on the road who had carried around a solar shower together with a purpose built shower stall tent, and solar recharge device for two years and never used them!

 

2015-12-19 07.29.47
Steve heads off from Balladonia, Baxter Rest next stop!

So I set off a bit before 11am to chase down Steve – a fruitless exercise, he had hooted along and arrived at Baxter’s (114km down the road) in under 4 hrs, so was cooling his heels when I arrived around 12. We scouted around the rest site, which was rather nice and did have a toilet (yay), to find a spot that was somewhat sheltered from the wind – quite a challenging exercise as the trees are rather sparse. We did find a fairly nice spot a fair way back from the road and had the company of some incredibly friendly miner birds – they were sooo cute! Not at all irritating like the ones that used to harass my cats back in Brisbane.

20151220_084806The landscape has become much flatter, less treed and more grassy, with low grey-blue shrubs and small trees dotting the plains. You can see a long way especially as we entered the 145km (90 mile) straight stretch – the longest straight road in Australia.

The skies stretch forever in this landscape, and the ever-changing cloudscapes we have seen are glorious. We have been pretty lucky avoiding the worst of the heat so far – as I write this the Eastern states are ablaze with record hot temperatures. Our thoughts are with the firies and people affected.

Baxter's-turnoff
Baxter Rest turnoff 

We spent the afternoon playing around with our fancy camera trying to get interesting shots of the landscape, and making sure we don’t get too behind with blog posts. The pod is quite a comfortable hang area when we can’t be bothered to put up the shade tent, and a good escape from the wind. Quite hard to cook when the wind is fierce, but we managed a fry-up for lunch and jaffles for dinner, yum! Oh, and the solar recharge unit worked a treat, but it just wasn’t hot and sunny enough for the solar shower, oh well.

We decided we needed an outback shot of us in our fly excluding head gear, but we had a few troubles with setting up the camera … but we got there in the end! At the end of the day we were rewarded with a spectacular sunset, photographed while reclining in our little pod…

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