Monday, May 3, 2010

Sam 1, Leigh 1, Nullarbor 0

Firstly, I have no idea where to start this post. It's been a huge week. Biggest of the trip. So it's going to be a massive post. Well, relatively speaking.

But we've done it! The Nullarbor has been beaten by two odd characters from the east, quite convincincly too. Unfortunately even with the easiest wins there are sometimes casualties, and in this case there are two.

My legs.

They have seized up to put it simply. Like one of my uncles old racing cars (thats for you Shaun, you know what I'm talking about). Well, either they have seized up or someone has managed to shorten my hamstrings by half overnight. And unlike normal muscle soreness, it has only got worse each day. Today when I went for my big trailer refill at the supermarket I used my trolley as one of those walking frames you can sit on so every 50 metres I could stop to take a break. Would've been hilarious to watch I'm sure. Especially seeing that the supermarket was only 150 metres down the road. But my sense of humour is limited to other peoples pain, so havent really had a good laugh about it yet. The people of Ceduna have though, and probably will even more when their newspaper comes out on Thursday and they see how far I have left to go.

But to be honest that is not the main news of the last week. Not even close.

Will put a separate post up later just for it, but the big news of the week is that the guest walking stint of Mr Sam Davidson Thomson-Mathews has finished, ending here in Ceduna after a month dominating the mighty Nullarbor and another 3 weeks previous to that tearing up and down the hilly roads of Western Australia.

Right from the start of the trip I knew this time would come, because as he kept on reminding me- he was only here as a temporary substitute and was here for a good time, not a long time. Well, he ended up being here for both.
The initial plans were for him to accompany me to Kalgoorlie and head home from there, but he quickly picked up the taste for highway power-walking, roadside camping and of course roadhouse burgers.
But the lure of the real world and actually getting paid for doing twelve hours of physical work a day eventually has tempted him back to the dark side. My constant bribing with sugar, chocolate and jars of Nutella has only delayed the inevitable, especially when he remembered he could actually get all that stuff back in Brisbane as well.
As said before, I will do a separate post some other time to commemorate his journey, but his efforts over the last 7 weeks probably deserve to be posted more than once!
It is going to be very different without him, and I am definitely going to miss him. We got along phenomenally and he has really turned this trip into something amazing. Thanks my brother, I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have. I'll be seeing you again in a few short months. Please, send him a congratulatory message, his number is 0413076964. He left his phone in Brisbane, so it'll be really nice if he has a few waiting for him when he returns, even if he doesn't know you! That kid just loves his phone messages. And his phone. And Mandy.

Owing to another bout of blatant good fortune, Shaun (my brother) and Dad had already decided to make a fly-in visit to Ceduna, even before anyone knew that Ceduna would be the SlamWagon's final stop. We were understandably getting quite excited as we neared Ceduna. The time was deinitely no let-down!
I have realised that my ability to describe good things happening on this trip is limited to two words- amazing or brilliant. I am sorry about that, it's something I'll have to work on.

But these last few days have been brilliant. Amazingly brilliant.

It was the perfect way to celebrate Sam's trip with Sam or I having not seen either of them for too long, and has made it just that much more memorable being able to properly catch up for the first time in ages. So what ended up initially being planned as a one night stopover has turned into a four day holiday at a surprisingly very nice redeveloped beachfront hotel, only ever walking to go to three things, the buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, or buffet tea. The pub was also conveniently located next to the buffet, so that was frequented many times throughout the three days.
And as though all that wasnt enough, just before having to leave Dad booked Sam and I in for another night at the hotel. I'm worried we will get used to all this luxury. I might want to upgrade my swag.

Due to the big news all the rest was a blur, so it will have to be bullet-pointed.

- Enjoying a mice plague at the moment, they were running over swags at night just to make sure we were awake. They also enjoyed many of our muesli bars. Who could blame them.

- Mice also enjoyed about half of a parcel that got sent to us at Penong, filled mainly with chocolate. Once again, who could blame them. Didnt stop me from finishing off what they left.

- Got a nice surprise at Penong. Went into store to pick up parcel and had $50 credit to spend on food, groceries when we arrived. Was paid for by a couple we had met a few days before. Just wish I had of got your numbers so I could ring to thank you! The money wasnt needed, you had already given us food the day before!!! It was definitely put to good use though, and we were very well fed for the next few days!

-Met up with two bicyclists, one from Germany and one from Canada. Sean and Johnny (I.... think) Met them twice and were great company, and shouted us pizza when we arrived in Ceduna. Not just any pizza, Bill's Pizza. We had been hearing about Bill and his amazing pizzas since Eucla, so trust me, anticipation for it was huge. Didn't disappoint, with the exception of the $5 surcharge for eating in. At Ceduna. Anyways Sean and Johnny, I hope you're reading this and keep in contact! And apologies for eating pretty much all the pizza, it'll be our shout next time, and we shouldn't be eating as much by then!

Photos. Yes, only five. I really take so few that you see most of them anyways.

Penultimate pose of the Slammer. Saved the best for second last.

Arriving at the Ceduna fruit fly checkpoint where they inspect thoroughly every single vehicle for fruit and vegetables to confiscate. Except ours. They didnt want to go near those things, and by those things I mean us, hadnt had a shower for two weeks at that point. We could've had a fruit fly farm in the trailers for all they knew, they did not want a bar of it.

This photo does these pizzas no justice, or the two guys Sean and Johnny who shouted us them! They are about twice the size of a normal sized pizza, so they logically assumed that three of them and three garlic breads should be enough between four. Well, they were wrong, dead wrong. Not sure how much they got to eat, but I know that the front one was exclusively eaten by me and the other two were Sam's domain, which he dominated. Was up to that point the most delicious thing I had tasted on the trip.

Pre-Flight posing. The weird dude in the middle is Shaun, our eldest brother.

The Eyre Highway, arial view. This view confirmed our suspicions that it is quite flat, quite straight, and there's not really much surrounding it.

Ok, well I'm off tomorrow morning after Sam catches the bus out of here. Have just put some Whitesnake to play on the way out of Ceduna to set the mood. Will be in touch again soon though, starting to actually run into reception that actually lasts for over half a day now.

Until next time,


  1. I love sam too so very much. And now after reading this i see why he wasnt feeling well this morning. By the way get some epson salt and soak ur legs b4 u leave trust me......oh and thanks for adding me n the blog! So proud of you both! Cant wait to read more as you continue traveling. I can pack gabr up i am sure hed be entertaining for you lol. Keep it up leigh!

  2. Quit whinging about your legs and toughen the f**k up!!! haha And STRETCH. Stretching will cure the pain, I promise. xo