Coolac to Mannum

We have flown across the country over the past 2 days. I’m not even joking, I think we have drove around 1200km in 48 hours. We have also changed the direction we were planning to go. We were planning on going to Melbourne and then to Adelaide, but while we were on the highway, it split to the two places so we decided to go to Adelaide instead. The original plan had us going to Melbourne in case we didn’t have time to see Adelaide, but now as we know we have the time, the mileage, or lack there of, is more important.

We woke up a bit later than usual in Coolac. It made a nice change that we weren’t cold and that we could change out of trousers and into cut-offs to drive however far we manage. It didn’t take long for us to be thrown off course, when we decided to head towards Adelaide instead of Melbourne. And it didn’t take long for the first of two petrol dilemmas to occur. Thankfully we made it to stations just in time on both occasions.

The drive from Canberra to Adelaide, as it ultimately is, takes you across multiple state lines and through an area called NSW Outback. I’m glad nothing bad happened, as for much of the journey, there was no mobile reception at all, even in ‘towns’. We stopped at a place called Hay to get Petrol, and then Balranald.

The latter had free showers, toilets, and drinking water. We stopped here for a while to make the most of it, and as we weren’t far off sunset, cooked some chilli. It was nice to eat something we’d made that wasn’t weetabix or cheese and crackers. The place had proved a godsend through more than it’s facilities. We had missed out turning two miles prior to the town, so we could right our mistake with little cost. Really it was a benefit.

As we left, the sun set in a manner that could only be describd as African a la The Lion King. We carried on driving through the dark, attempting to get close to Adelaide, but as the night went on, we both got increasingly tired. We made it to a rest area in a tiny place called Parilla. When we woke up the next morning, it looked like Hicksville, USA. A lot of the towns have.

Parilla was located just inside South Australia. It made us both smile to relise that in the space of 24 hours we had left Australian Capital Territory, entered and exited New South Wales, and entered and exited Victoria. It’s pretty impressive really.

We didn’t have a long drive to our designated free rest stop in Mannum, just East of Adelaide. It didn’t take long to get there all in all, so we stopped in the town and went into a pub in the hope that the Dockers would be playing in the AFL. Luckily they were, and even more luckily, we got to stay there without getting food or a drink for the whole game. It was the most tense game we’ve watched since the season opener we went to, but Freo came out on top, of course. Still top of the league.

We crossed the free ferry a few times to find the rest area itself, and to get on the pitiful WiFi. It just held enough to be able to watch the season finale of Once Upon A Time, which was a good way to finish the day. The finale was must less stressful then Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D; I think.

Tomorrow it is onwards to Adelaide. I hope this less cold weather holds for a little longer.

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