21st August: Way home Balranald NSW…rest day.

ride4acure team riding out of Fraser Range Station WA to Eyre highway

The days are melding into each other as we make our way through four states to get home.  We’re taking it easy with the horses not travelling more thank 5 – 600 kms per day.  I unload the horses every 2-3 hours to have a ‘comfort stop’, stretch there legs, give them a drink etc. have a quick cup of tea ourselves. This picture is of Esther riding ‘Titan’ bareback leading ‘Meg’ and ‘Surprise’ with Bobby tagging along- a couple of kms along the road into Fraser Range Station in WA 100kms east of Norseman on the Eyre Highway toward the end of the Nullarbor.  This station is incredible and attracts many tourists wanting to experience station life they have fantastic facilities for the travellers.

see the strangest sites in WA! tree power!!


This gem of a sight is on the road into Fraser Range…Joe nicknamed it ‘tree power’! We’ve been retracing Esther amazing ride and catching up with people along the way.  There is no doubt in my mind it is the people we meet that make an event like the Coast2Coast Horse Trek such a success.  Sharing stories because it’s the stories that people remember.

I absolutely loved travelling through WA, the Nullarbor is a treasure trove of amazing sights and experiences.  I will definately be back to re-experience that wonderful vast landscape again, I feel a real affinity with the wide open space of that country.  It’s like a million Hay Plains in a row! I will be back….

A massive thank you goes out to all the roadhouses across the Nullarbor whom without their support we couldn’t have done this trek.  Each of the roadhouses provided us with de-salinated water for our horses, donated our accommodation and more!  A big hearted thank you to all.  On the way over I had written especially about Andy Morris the pilot from the Nullarbor Roadhouse who’d taken Esther and Joe up flying,to see the whales.

Nullarbor Roadhouse crew Andy & Ben celebrating Ez's 21st with us.

We caught up with Sal and Stewart (managers) and Ben (bar staff) and Andy (pilot) on the way back and toasted Esther’s successful ride and her 21st! this photo we’re hooking in to a delicious cake Ben bought out with sparklers blazing singing Happy Birthday!  We played some seriously dodgy games of pool and had a few celebratory drinks and a great night.

Onward the next day to Ceduna where we stayed overnight at the racecourse and had to clean our truck out again for quarintine from WA back to SA.  Then next day to Wirrulla where we caught up with Gary and Kathy McFarlane and famiily whom we stayed with on the way across.  Our horses enjoyed a great paddock for the night with a good pick.  The next day had to deliver ‘Surprise’ back to Bill and Barb Willoughby at ‘Boolorro Centre’, he has been such a little ripper horse for the trek and we felt a tonne of gratitude for the part he played in making the ride a success.  It had been raining heavily for days and we had about 20kms of dirt road to get to Boolorroo Centre, our truck is now covered in red mud, and I’m hoping to give it a pressure wash somewhere soon! We then made our way to Gawler SA where we’d left ‘Lofty’, sadly ‘Lofty is still seriously lame and has a fetlock injury that hasn’t healed and on a good vets advice is unlikely to after nearly three months rest.

We’re now in Balranald where we had a fundraiser on Friday night at the ‘Shamrock Hotel’ where Jennifer the publican turns out the ‘best ever’ countermeals.  Joe rates her schnitzels as 11 out of 10 on his schnitzel meter!  We had a couple of dozen people turn up for a meet and greet.  Local horsewoman Megan Purtill organised a raffle of a load of split redgum firewood donated by David Chaston from Balranald, for the night that raised $220 so a big thank you to the Balranald crew for their support.

Balranald 19.8.11 Shamrock Hotel fundraiser raffle winner Emma Scott with 'Hugo' and Joe!

The raffle was won by Emma Scott (above) who was there with her Mum Wynn and her Grandma. Our little mascot ‘Hotondo Hugo’ was in on the celebrations, he’s never far from the action!

Esther was very crook yesterday and is still low today with temp, headaches and vomiting, and Joe is down now also.  So we’re extending our stay here at Balranald Pony Club grounds hoping they’ll be right to travel tomorrow (Monday) and we’ll head to West Wyalong.  Because the kids were crook we sadly didn’t get to Ivanhoe for Rowan McKenzies 21st and to catch up.  Another time.  Esther could barely lift her head up with a temperature over 38 degrees.  We’ve had a superb couple of days here weather wise, the horses are soaking up the sunlight and enjoying not being on the truck!  We’ve got a couple more meetings on the way home and hoping to be back in Kempsey by Thursday.

Carrot & Coffee bike riding Perth to Sydney met at Balladonia Roadhouse on Nullarbor WA

At Balladonia Roadhouse on the Western end of the Nullarbor we met up with a real character, a man called Carrot riding his bike with his dog ‘Coffee’.  Carrot is raising funds for both the Cancer Council of NSW and also MS  Society.  He’s ridden from Perth and is heading to Sydney.  We’ll be definately heading to Sydney to welcome him in when he makes it.  Due to the incredible distances across the Nullarbor 1200 kms between shops at Ceduna and Norseman it’s impossible to carry enough food on the bike, so we left ‘food drops’ for Carrot and CoffeeDog at Cocklebiddy, Nullarbor and Eucla Roadhouses, which included in it 3 feeds of dry dog food for CoffeeDog (a white kelpie), dried food, a couple of tins of soup, noodles, rice, tim tams and a stubby of beer for Carrot and some fresh fruit!  We were stoked to get a phone call today from Carrot at Madura roadhouse to say he’s enjoying the tucker and so’s Coffee Dog! We wish them both all the best and safe travelling!


One Response to “21st August: Way home Balranald NSW…rest day.”

  1. Chris Chaplin Says:

    Well done gang. Looking forward to catching up after your return. Hope Es & Joe are feeling better real soon – maybe too much cake and schnitzels, eh?! Much love to you all. Chris

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