Day 79 ~ Norseman WA

Wow to finally be back in range of Internet and Mobile service. 16 days of being ‘disconnected’ got us all back to basic’s and enjoying the simple things.

Day 64 to 66 Nullarbor Roadhouse to Border Village ~ Leaving Nullarbor Roadhouse early morning was like waving goodbye to civilisation! It was so COLD! The road travels about 150 to 200 metres of the edge of the cliffs of The Great Australian Bight. I had the chance while I was on Titan to ride right to the edge when a thunderstorm was rolling in. INCREDIBLE! I thought the view from Andy’s plane was amazing, but the feeling of riding my horse right to the very edge of the cliffs was the single most outstanding moment of my life.  I had just been caught in gale force winds and heavy rain, I was still 15k’s out of night camp and the ten metres before I got a view of the cliffs my body was riddled with aches and pains. But walking right to the edge felt like sitting on the edge of the earth. A beam of light burst through the rain and shone off the cliffs and everything was glistening in the light after the storm. Then playing catch up once I got to camp Mum and Joe found a beaut rest area only 150 metres of the cliffs with a pod of whales there. Leading all three horses to the edge and listening to the roar of the waves and the noises the whales were making was the perfect ending to my day! (Not to mention while I was have a moment Mum and Joe finished setting yards up, getting water and mixing night feed up!) We got to catch up with Viv (from Just Lingerie Kempsey) and her family! We caught up with them in Ceduna and jokingly asked for beer and chocolate when they passed us on the way back! It was the best beer I have ever drank and the chocolate was perfect! We made it to Border Village in time to watch state of origin. Mother nature threw a bit of wild weather my way, Luckily I have my great Muddy Creek Raincoat and stayed warm and dry!

Day 67 ~ Rest day at Border village, loaded three pallet loads of Western Hay feed on the roof and into the truck.

Esther and joe loading feed onto roof at border Village

Day 68 to 72 Border Village to Cocklebiddy ~ Crossing in to WA on Titan felt terrific! He crossed the Victorian border for me in the Early hours of the morning and crossing my last border felt like we where entering the last leg of the journey. Mundrabilla was the first camp, and the shocking reality that my bed was now a dedicated horse feed area saw me sleeping out side. I need to mention that it was raining, windy and Bobby made his way into my bed, I was five metres away from the horses so not only did I have a considerably large lump of red heeler snoring ‘in’ my bed I had Titan snoring while he was asleep and licking rails when he was awake, Surprise grunting and Meg snoring, which was a perfect combination for me to be awake at 3am making a cup of tea. Mum woke up up and nearly died of shock! Adjusting to the time difference was weird, and even though I rode through the time zones  it was still hard to get in the swing of WA time. I saw my first camel tracks on day 69, they were old so didn’t worry me too much! I didn’t make it all the way to Madura roadhouse, so we camped in the scrub again! Titan was first horse out and Mum was still behind me packing up camp and out of nowhere there is the ‘Madura Pass’ where you cut up the mountains and on the a plateau and looked way out over the plains that I had been riding across for days! I rode right to the edge of the rocky edge on Titan and was admiring the view taking a few pictures and we turned to walk away and notice the lookout behind me had six or seven people lined up taking pictures of Titan and me! Riding into Cocklebiddy gave me a sense of relief that there was a rest day ahead of us!! A massive Thankyou to Shona and Tony for their Hospitality!

Titan admiring the view at Madura Pass


Day 73 to 76 Cocklebiddy to Balladonia ~ Leaving Cocklebiddy later than expected due to fog made our morning relaxing! I arrived in Caiguna just on dark, meeting up with a few push bikers from Byron Bay. They have ridden from Perth and heading back to Byron Bay raising money for Diabetes along the way. I need to mention, I am still bedless at this stage! Either sleeping under the annex or in the very back of the truck where the horses travel. This experience allowed me (and Mum) to further understand the depths of my temper. Getting into camp in the dark, tired, mostly wet and a little wind swept and then attempting to move massive bales of hay to procure a flat space for my swag to get rolled out on. In the process of attempting to dislodge an incredibly heavy large bale of hay the threads of containment of both the hay bale and my temper snapped. Seeing Mum ever so quietly back out of truck and leave me to my cursing and hay tossing. After the grey cloud above my head cleared the next day Mum took a moment to tell me about the flash back she had of me as a year old baby and droving on the Hay plains. Standing in the caravan playing with Duplo blocks on the toy box building things, and when it didnt work I would have a total temper tantrum and swipe my arm along the box wiping all of the blocks out of the door on to the clay pan, for working dogs and older siblings to steal! And had I been able to have got hold of that bale of hay it would have come to the same end. Mum realising this, she quickly exited the truck!   Arriving at Balladonia felt like we were back in civilisation! The meal was delicious! I caught up with a bloke who pulled up near Iron Knob and liked the look of Meg. He was stoked to know we had had such a successful trip! The horses where happy to have another Rest day! As was I!

Es n Meg having a Deep and Meaningful at Balladonia

Day 77 to 79 Balladonia to Norseman ~ Leaving Balladonia on Surprise in the fog was an experience! he is always a little spooky anyway but after a day off and brisk morning air he was particularly jumpy! Lucky I love him and he is a ripper! We made it to Fraser Range sheep station with an hour of daylight left! So I was casually wandering down the 2k driveway hoping that by the time I arrived Mum and Joe had the yards set up! The joke was on me because there was beaut sandy sheep yards. Titan and Surprise rolled and rolled! Titan did the first shift out of Fraser Range and we arrived in Norseman late last night. Norseman got it’s name from an Explorer’s horse who pawed the ground and dug up a gold nugget.

We have two rest days here in Norseman and will enjoy them thoroughly!

So I have now crossed the Nullarbor. And being honest, I enjoyed this bit of the trip the most! Feeling at home in the remoteness and wide open spaces. there is only 18days left on the trek and I am finding hard to believe that I have ridden 3900 kilometres… I have mixed emotions about finishing the trek. The most part of this year has been focused on this trip, and to finish will be a great sense of achievement I am sure, but will also be the end of this chapter and open the door for the next adventure to begin.

Meg and Esther at the Great Australian Bight

Happy Trails. X Es

4 Responses to “Day 79 ~ Norseman WA”

  1. Tania Cannings Says:

    Awesome writing Es. Thanks for sharing this trip of a lifetime with us

  2. Barb Says:

    Thinking of you every day, then hearing your voice today was the most wonderful sound, now to read your words, you are still pulling my heart strings, as we all feel every word you say. This may be your ride, but you have a multitude riding with you every day. God bless. Never stop writing.

  3. Erica Says:

    have been travelling with you pet…although my couch and RCA is probably way more convenient then your camp fire and extra coat. So proud of you and know how committed you are to this so G-D bless your journey Esse

  4. Cathy Ehlefeldt Says:

    I have just been reading about your amazing and awe-inspring trek on horseback on I would have loved to have ridden with you on your journey and raised funds for research into melanoma. I lost my mum to melanoma when I was only 25 and reading about your long trek on horseback, I really felt I was riding with you and wished that I could have had this opportunity. You are truly an inspiration and I’m sure your sister was riding with you all the way, you have done all Australians proud.

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