|Travelling Australia - Journal 2008b|
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|24 June 2008 - Condada to nr Yalata|
It was a cold, clear night; there was no moon for a while, no cloud and no artificial light around to dim the display of stars. There was a heavy dew in the morning, still no cloud and no wind; the sun did not yet have any warmth in it. Another caravan had arrived just before sunset last night; the occupants had run their generator during the night with a few short breaks. The noise had been noticeable but not particularly intrusive; we were more intrigued at the reason they had for running a generator through the night.
We moved off at 8:45 in very cold weather, it had been 7° in the van at 8 o'clock. There was very little traffic which was just as well as the road had an incline upwards when we started and the cold engine of the Territory took a while to bring the car and van up to cruising speed (80 kph).
The road passes a series of grain siloes along the railway line - a few have villages around them, but most have no more than a single house, if that.
In Ceduna we parked at the Information Centre where there were several caravan parking slots and walked to the shops for lunch. The port associated with Ceduna has an enormous grain silo where grain is held before loading into ships.
Leaving Ceduna toward Penong extensive cropping land continued with some sheep grazed. Cropping land beyond Penong begins to fade after 30 kilometres. Artesian windmills were also in clusters from Penong to beyond Nundroo but not seen before the Penong area; judging by the new-looking plastic tanks associated with the windmills they are still operating and may explain how sheep can be grazed in this very low rainfall region. We had passed three derelict houses fairly close to the road, evidence that attempts to establish farms on this marginal land do not always succeed.
There was a patch of cropping/grazing for about 10 kilometres around Nundroo but beyond the Nundroo patch of cleared land mallee dominated. The road remained good bitumen and fairly straight but going up and down over low hills which seemed to be endless. Fuel consumption was a little high, these hills probably contributing as well as the weight of the water we were carrying in nearly full caravan tanks. Traffic had been light with an interval of eight minutes between vehicles going the other way not unusual. Motorhomes were notably few in number while caravans were prominent.
At 3 o'clock we stopped for the night in a large rest area between Nundroo and Yalata. Understory plants had been bulldozed from around larger mallee left for shade and shelter. The former gravel road also ran through the area, this was not at all overgrown possibly because the surface appears to be a form of natural cement. The "soil" around the trees in the rest area looked like nearly white sand but on close inspection was seen to be fine silt held in place by a thin crust. There had been no cloud all day; the weather had become fairly warm by mid afternoon but the cool air returned when the sun got low. There had been a little wind all day.
|Stopped for the night under a larger than average mallee.|