Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Checkpoint 1

5 days and 189 kilometres later, we have made it to our first major point in the trip, Coolgardie. Major as in distance travelled, not in size. Coolgardie is unfortunately much smaller than we hoped, with probably less people in the town than a standard student share house. But still it is a time to celebrate with a day off and some excellent food at the main restaurant in the town, the Caltex Roadhouse. And by excellent food we mean dim sims and chips out of the Bain Marie. No sauce because thats extra, a lot extra.

Having the day off has given me some time to see how far we've gone and its starting to look pretty impressive, with 600 kilometres already under the belt and only 18 days in, with apparently easier walking to come.

This is what we have done so far. This looks really great until....

You see this view. The orange line is the route we have to take to get to Sydney. Still, at least you can see a bit of blue at the start.

But back to the last five days. The trip to Coolgardie from Southern Cross takes you through a Nature Reserve and two National Parks, making it both interesting and challenging in equal parts.
With forever narrowing roads, larger sized trucks, increasingly frequent and more steep hills and no roadhouses for us to spend all our money in, it has been our first true challenge since that first day.
Apart from the odd interested individual, most people have tended to steer clear of us in the National Parks, probably due to a combination of our smell and our unkempt look. Very wise choice really. Luckily for Sam, he seems to be quite happy with our daily routine of long periods of nothing, interspersed with flies, traffic and random quotes from favourite tv shows, mainly Stargate and Scrubs.

From here we are off to Norseman through the great town of Widgiemooltha, a family favourite from many years back.
Norseman is about 170 kilometres south of Coolgardie, and from there it is pretty much 6 weeks of just Sam, me, and the Nullarbor Plain. The Nullarbor will be a big test of the depth of our TV show quotes, many might have to be recycled I'm afraid.

Our first mildly daunting sign. 131 kilometres before the next roadhouse. In other words, four days.

Some dude passed out over a pipe

Sam getting a bit excited about making it to Coolgardie. Didnt matter to him that the actual town was still 120 kilometres away.

After four days of walking we finally get to what we hoped would be a megastore. In some ways I guess it was mega, just not in the ways we were hoping.

The inside of the Bullabulling Tavern, the first stop in four days. Including us there were six patrons in the Tavern, the six being us, the Barman's Grandmum, a dog, cat and a dead snake, freshly killed of course. Sam's just talking shop with the cat. The barman after some gentle coaxing managed to microwave us up some frozen pies, The microwave didnt manage to unfreeze the centres unfortunately.

So thats all we have got here for now. Anyone who has my number, don't bother calling it for the next 2 months as I'm pretty sure Virgin Mobile doesnt recognise the Nullarbor as a part of Australia.

We have a Telstra number, and we should get mildly good reception over the next few months with it, definitely a better bet! It is 0419307323. Either that or send me an email, my address is thomson-mathews@connect.qut.edu.au

Will throw a few more photos up when we get to Norseman, but from there the updates might be a little less frequent due to anticipated lack of reception and power.

Until then,

To Sister Tess, thank you for your prayers, mum has been telling me you are reading our blog. Keep her on the straight and narrow please, she is a real worry!

To 10 High street, I miss you all, you should all just come walking, gingerbread too.

And to our Aunty again, one of these days I will answer when you call! I should probably turn my phone off silent, that'd probably help a bit.


  1. I have one thing to say .... You guys are amazing!!!!!! Okay, okay, one more thing - I admire you both so much and will keep up to date with your travels. Keep it coming, and good luck with your future kilometres.

  2. Great job guys!!!! You've both come far!! Love u sam...and miss u xoxo.....

    Leigh thanks for keeping sam in line...someone has to :)

  3. The more I read the more excited I get!!! You two are on such an incredible adventure and will return completely different than when you departed--so much learning and growing (and walking)! Stay sane through Nullarbor! xo