Day 60-61 Grass Patch

Trip Start Dec 01, 2008
Trip End Nov 08, 2009

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Grass Patch Park n Stay

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Day 60-61 Balladonia to Grass Patch (Nullarbor completed)        Thursday Jan 29th 2009
Arriving at Newman Rock from Balladonia only 70km down the track we were blown away to see this area in its best state - fresh water over the large expanse of granite rock area.  It was teeming with animal poo, suggesting many had enjoyed refreshments after the recent rain. We were able to distinguish the animals who had visited after seeing all the samples from the Balladonia museum the previous day!
All of us were really loving Newman Rock's, spending 2 hrs exploring the area. Frogs and tadpoles were everywhere in the puddles and the larger pond. We could have stayed overnight but for the ridiculously short day it would have been. If we were closer to a main town we may have stopped, but were keen to complete the Nullarbor and get to Esperance.
We came across a cool looking Kombi at the side of the road. As we drew closer it became obvious they were bogged, so we stopped to offer assistance -who could resist such a handsome vehicle? The road side had become treacherous after the recent rain, deceptively all looked well until you attempted to stand or drive off the bitumen and you soon found your shoes stuck in mud or in this case both passenger side wheels of the sparkling yellow Kombi.
Greg began by putting bark and anything else we could find for leverage under the back wheels. Another car pulled over soon after, they had a 4wd and a tow rope which was ultimately necessary to move the car. It was funny that all three girls grabbed their cameras to document proceedings for scrap books not worrying in the slightest that we wouldn't be able to free the car.
We all high 5'd each other when we did indeed free the Kombi! Greg and I were ankle deep in mud but proud we were able to help... our first good deed of the trip!!
After all the manual labour we decided it was time for a BBQ lunch. The kids were keen for a fire and given the rain we thought it ideal to find an old fashioned bushfire to cook the snags over. Ten mile rock provided a fantastic road side stop and here we lingered and enjoyed our first fire. We could have easily have set up camp here also and made note for future reference about both sites.
Norseman was the next big town and technically the end of the Nullarbor. It was however a really average place, so we refuelled and pushed on to find somewhere on the due south road toward Esperance.  I found a stay n park spot at Grass Patch 70km North of Esperance with good clean amenities a free washing machine, $20 for the night and a tavern 50m from it. It was late (6.15pm) and we had driven for most of the day so we were keen to settle in to watch some TV and relax.
Greg found out Phil the publican is a horse trainer also and they talked about the W.A racing Calendar. Phil generously gave Greg his latest race magazine, listing all the details of the next quarter race meetings and they agree to meet at the Esperance race meet Friday week for a beer.
We are woken by the roosters very early the next morning... all 6 thousand of them or so it seems!! No wonder this place is not mentioned in any of the camp guides. If we had have known we were to endure hours of pre-dawn "cock-a-doodle-do's" I would have driven another hour to make it to Esperance!! However the drive to Esperance sees us find the Gibson Soak Hotel. It has an amazing front veranda beneath a huge old Morton Bay Fig tree that screams at you to stop and check it out. Now if we were driving past at night time we might never have noticed it. We determine we will come back with Mum and Dad when they arrive to enjoy lunch and buy a leftover spag bol for $4.50!
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