Woodend to Perth: Roadtrip Day 4
When you arrive at a Nullabor roadhouse before 5pm, you wonder where all the people are and pause to consider the possibility that you may have wandered onto the before now secret set of Wolf Creek:The Sequel. By 5.30pm, a full house of motel guests materialise, open the sides of their custom ute/trailer/campers, retrieve their beverage holders, and gather at their doorways, neoprened tinny in hand.
And so it was in Eucla. As dusk set, the entertainment troupe, in the form of a mice plague, came out to party. A sight more gripping than peak hour television, countless little varmints dashed SWAT-team-like from under rubbish bins, to the risky shadows of car tyres, and back and forth along walls and walkways.
By 8am the following morning, we were back on the movie set, wondering if all those other people and meece were inventions of a fine Coonawarra red that had been sunning itself in the rear of the vehicle for four days. Fortified by too much real coffee we didn’t brew in our motel room (NO COOKING IN THE ROOM), we hit the road again, and I welcomed the bracing force of a Nullabor zephyr as I hung my camera out the window for more Fleeting Glimpses. By now, I have lost the part of me that needs pin-sharp focus and am veering toward an impressionistic obsession. I love the way the blurred lines run in different directions, a bit like a mice plague.
Odometer count: 2300km. Next, Esperance.
There is a lot to love about a summer evening and a chilled beverage at sunset, on the Ceduna foreshore. Suffering from an embarrassment of riches in seafood, Ceduna is one of those magical places that owes its contained size to its relative remoteness. The people who live and work here are passionate about fishing, the region, and fishing.
Seated on the balcony and blowing the inherited smoke of other diners away, we were joined at our unfeasibly large dining table by a lovely farmer and his date. Generous with information on the region, garnered by generations of family, he pointed us in the direction of Penong and Cactus Beach. We were not disappointed.
In the fresh morning light we came upon salt lakes of coconut ice, and a surf beach that boasted allegedly one of Australia’s best left handers. Chrissie handed me her polarising filter. Oh.My.Goodness. As one who loves a watery vista, I really should have got one long ago, but I always thought it would be another filter hiding in those otherwise un-useable crevices of my camera bag, clocking up frequent flyer miles but never getting out of their little plastic cases.
Speeding away, Nullabor bound, Chrissie let me in on what I like to refer to as her Fleeting Glimpse technique which involves hanging your camera out the window of a vehicle travelling at 114km per hour, and defying the Vibration Reduction system of your lens. What I was going for here was the idea that you only catch glimpses of things as you speed by the world, you only focus on bits and pieces. It also greatly challenges my (some would argue) pathological need for order and precision. Rookie attempts, more to come.
During our last foray into the heart of Australia, we spent a bit of time camping in the bush. When it is pitch dark by 6.30pm, idle hands start messing around with the fire and camp equipment, specifically the light sources! Here are some of the results.