On February 16th, I picked up a Hertz rental in downtown Perth and started my 2 hour drive north to New Norcia, Western Australia. I didn’t know what to expect, on the road – would it be a motorway and featureless? I couldn’t have been further from the truth.
The route out of Perth is single carriageway and goes slowly as you’re picking up every person out on the road for milk and bread, granny doing the weekly shop and tradies (see, I’m learning Oztalk!) going about in their tiny shorts!
The road soon gets desserted, only one or two cars on the go and mainly SUVs/4x4s as a lot of the subsidiary roads are unpaved the further you get from a major conurbation.
So about half way along my route, excitement ensued! A ‘warning car’ (is it called an ‘escort vehicle’?) comes along down the middle (the actual miggle!) of the road! The van which has raced to pass me out on a quiet bit of road (all the bits of the road were quiet) pulls over immediately. I wasn’t sure what to do but thought I’d better follow suit.
When I say this was the middle of nowhere, I thought I’d better take some snaps of evidence!
Saying that, aren’t the colours stunning – I don’t use any filters (obvious from my selfies, thank you for mentioning) – I love the green, blue and dusty tones.
Here was my not-very-stunning Toyota car, ‘won’ in Hertz’s ‘Mystery Car’ competition where you pay for an intermediate car, and are given an intermediate car. Nice one, Hertz.
From the middle distance, some MONSTER convoy is approaching!
The road actually RUMBLED as they approached. I got back in the car, because that was going to protect me!!
What is it? A monster tractor?
It’s like a giant lego truck part.
Look at the SIZE of that! No jokes, please.
Could it be mining equipment? I don’t even know where to look this up?
Then there were more trucks a-coming through… I think they call this a ‘road train’ in Australia.
Here’s another one! I did manage to find out there are big mining operations in Western Australia, so maybe it IS a mining vehicle…
Everyone sat on for a minute or two watching these bad boys/girls rolling on by!
It was SO hot on this drive up to New Norcia, that I took another break on a side road. The trees were packed with green parakeets and cockatoos, screeching up a storm – I think I have a video to share on my other New Norcia posts.
The ground started to turn from the dustier tan colours you saw in the mining truck pictures above to a red tone – I am told this will get even redder when I reach Uluru and Alice Springs!
What a beautiful place. It does beg the question as to why no-one lives out here – I imagine it might be the lack of services / water / beauty does not equate to the desire to form a town every 5 miles?
I’m writing from Melbourne and I’m right in the centre of town today – I think I’m missing those lovely empty roads and so few people around. Sometimes I’m a city boy and sometimes just love the sense you’re in a place on your ownio. If Gawd spares me, I’ll go back to Western Australia and go deeper into the bush!