Luke’s Wolfe Creek blog in August was so entertaining that we asked him to put pen to paper again on his next journey. Turns out, we didn’t have to wait long. Luke’s journal continues … (the story started with On the Road Again)
Luke Crosses the Nullarbor, Day 4
We were up early again – already trying to acclimatise to the South Australian time zone – and headed across the border.
Just the night before we were joking with the pilots at dinner about how hard our cameras are to find. So much so that even we struggle to find them at times. Turns out, that’s actually true! Our GPS started leading us the wrong way. Luckily, not only did I help build the Hughes camera, I had also revisited it in June this year, and I realised before long that we had gone off course. We got to the camera site and all it needed was a new fuse and all seemed hunky dory. We had a spot of lunch and by then the wind had changed to a nice southeasterly gust which was pleasantly cool and kept the temperature below 30˚. We got back to the track and headed off, trying to get as far as we could before we lost the light.
We pulled off the ‘main’ drag to get some distance between us and the railway so we weren’t disturbed by passing trains during the night. It was so cold I even put on my long johns which I haven’t worn since climbing a Himalayan mountain in a blizzard. Now, I’m not suggesting it was that cold, I’m more admitting that Australia has broken my internal temperature gauge of what I think is cold. We did – weirdly – have phone reception here but to actually send something required standing on top of the ute.
An amazing thing happens in the outback at night. The ground comes alive, and you can see this by shining your head torch across the ground. The sand is lit by these diamond-like reflections of greens and golds and yellows and reds, almost any colour. If you follow these lights (don’t follow them too far, you don’t want to lose your camp) at the end of these lights is a fly, or often a spider. Its reflective eyes are what cause these glints and the most disturbing thing for any masochistic arachnophobes is that you can’t tell the size of the spider from the glint. They are all roughly the same size so you could approach and find a tiny spider or I guess up to one up to the size of a dinner plate. Thankfully I’ve never found one of those … Yet…
As the clocks had gone forward it was actually nearly midnight, but the sun had only recently set so it was really like 9 pm. Time is relative out here – you live and sleep by the sun, not what the actual time piece says. We still decided to hit the hay, so I wrapped myself in my sleeping bag and quickly fell asleep.
Luke’s blog continues in Luke Crosses the Nullarbor, Day 5