Skip to main content

Australia's longest straight and Skylab.

Road Trip Day 16: 7th June 2007

There comes a point in some road trips where you want to make a certain distance by nightfall and the only way you can do it is to just drive. Rose wanted to make the town of Coolgardie by nightfall, a distance of more than 600 kilometres from Madura.

After driving the first 157 kilometres a sign at a place called 'Cocklebiddy' (don't ask how it got that name, I don't know) informed us that we were about to embark on Australia's longest straight piece of road. 155 kilometres of straight, flat road. I didn't really need to know that.

When you're driving these sort of distances 'speedo creep' can be a problem. The foot gets heavier and before you know it you're 20 kilometres over the speed limit - and it doesn't even feel like you're going fast.

Today was the day for over taking Road Trains. I did more over taking than I've done on any other day since we begun. One thing I've noticed is that if trucks are a the bane of car drivers then Winnebagoes (kind of like small truck with a mobile home on the back) must be the bane of truck drivers.

Winnebagoes are usually owned by early retires, still young enough to live their dream of travelling around the country side. Where trucks have a top speed (by law in Australia) of 100 kilometres per hour (cars can travel at the max speed of 110 kilometres per hour), Winnebago drivers insist on travelling at about 85 - 90 kilometres an hour. This means that big Road Trains are forced to change lanes. If you think over taking a road train in a car at speeds of 120 kilometres per hour can be a little hairy then imagine what it must be like if you're a road train driver over taking a Winnebago.

155 kilometres later a curious thing happens. Not only do you come to a bend but the road starts to go down hill. Not that curious except that it keeps going down hill for more than 100 kilometres. I didn't ever remember going up hill? It is quite disorientating. We went down hill for so long that I swear we should've been at least 200 metres below sea level!

Part way down this hill we stopped at the Ballidonia roadhouse and motel for lunch. Ballidonia is famous for having a piece of the ill fated space station, Skylab, crash in the region. What do you do when you recover a piece of a NASA space station?

You bolt it to the roof of your roadhouse and create a museum around it for the tourists of course. The museum wasn't open when we passed through but the restaurant did make me a very nice hot dog for lunch.

For once we did make our planned destination, the town of Coolgardie. Rose and I have been running on South Australian time, which is one and a half hours ahead of WA - giving us more light as we chase the sun. We arrived in Coolgardie just as the last rays of sunlight disappeared over the horizon. We're staying at the Coolgardie Motel in a twin share room that has a bunk bed. I get the top bunk - cool!! Last time I slept in a bunk bed I think I was fifteen years old.

Tommorrow we should make it to Perth if all goes to plan. Lets hope so.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Yukino Yukinoshita Figurine Cartoon Figure Doll Model Desk Ornament Toy Gift - MULTI-A - Product Review

I must admit I was not familiar with the Anime character Yukino Yukinoshita, from the Japanese book and TV series My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU. I bought this figure because I was browsing for one that looked similar to an Anime avatar my partner used for a time on social media.


What actually sealed the deal for me to purchase, aside from how similar the character looked, was the little panda (Pan-san) with the black star eye, which I felt gave the whole figurine set a bit of an edgy look.

When my purchase arrived I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and detail. Having since discovered the Anime TV series the figure is based upon I can say it's a fairly faithful depiction of Yukino.

Standing (or is that sitting?) at 14.00 x 15.00 x 14.00 cm / 5.51 x 5.91 x 5.51 inches the figure is an ideal size for displaying on a desk or bookshelf without taking up too much room. The 1/8 scale allows for a good level of detail, particularly in the characters clothing which, despite being P…

BEILEXING Autocycle Style ABS Cartoon Building Brick - 378pcs - COLORMIX - Motorcycle kit Product Review

The first time I saw the Beilexing Brick Motorcycle Kit I thought it was nothing short of stunning. I'm not even a fan of motorcycles in general but the detail of this set and how much it captured the spirit of a real world motorcycle really impressed me.

Then I saw the set cost considerably less than a similar sized kit from the Lego Technic range I just couldn't pass it up.

When the kit arrived it did not disappoint. Made from ABS plastic the bricks are fully compatible with, and are of comparable quality to, official Lego bricks. I did notice that the tires and chain links seemed a little less sturdy than their Lego equivalents but beyond that you'd be hard pressed to say the quality of the parts wasn't almost as good.

The model is 35.00 x 10.00 x 6.00 cm / 13.78 x 3.94 x 2.36 inches in size and should be no trouble for intermediate to advanced builders to construct with a clear, and easy to follow instruction manual.

A sheet of decals is included for you to stick …

Virtual Reality Addiction Meets Online Shopping and Death!

I'm certainly not the first person to predict the idea of immersive virtual worlds. Movies like Tron (1982) and The Lawnmower Man (1992) are two of the earliest popular culture references to the concept I can think of, off the top of my head. Then of course there is The Matrix (1999) where the VR world idea really hit the mainstream big time.

However, back in early 2005, the practice of online shopping, with real money, for digital products in virtual worlds like Second Life (which was more cutting edge back then) began to meld in my mind with the idea of corporations controlling that experience through marketing and advertising.

Robot Uprising: Patrolling Your Home, Garden and Now The Streets!

Many people think of the inevitable Robot Uprising as a humanoid, Terminator like, robot army, wielding laser guns, hunting us down in some kind of distant future, human Armageddon. What they don't realize is that the robot armies are already taking shape, albeit in a much more passive aggressive form.

I've previously documented the Roomba as the first wave of mass produced robots surveilling your home under the guise of being a floor vacuum.

These irritating devices are supposed to quietly work away in the background while you perform Yoga poses in peaceful bliss but are actually noisy enough to attract your attention and... why does the thing keep missing that one spot in the middle of the floor but has cleaned the same corner four times already!

Halloween - The Door-to-Door Salesperson of Holidays

Halloween isn't really a thing in Australia but over the years it's been gaining momentum thanks to variety and party hire stores that stock up on all things spooky for the occasion.

I dread Halloween every year because I never know if this is going to be the year some wide eyed group of costumed up kids is going to knock on the door and yell 'Trick or Treat' at me. A truly scary thought.

Halloween is a fantastic idea for a holiday, completely ruined by the tradition of going door to door for treats. If you or your family does this, I sincerely hope you never knock on the door of houses that a) You've never met the owner in any capacity and, b) are clearly not participating in the festivities demonstrated by their lack of any Halloween decorations at all.

If you're like me you probably hate door-to-door salespeople, a practice that has thankfully decreased but is still employed by phone and power companies from time to time. There's nothing worse than peop…

Super Sonico Cartoon Sitting Girl with Swimsuit Model Toy - RED - Product Review

I was not familiar with the Anime character Super Sonico created by Tsuji Santa of the Japanese computer and video game software company, Nitroplus, as the mascot for Nitroplus' annual live music festival event "Nitro Super Sonico".

I was actually looking through the GearBest website for another Anime character and liked the look of this particular display figure enough to add it to my cart. (It also helped that the figure was on sale at a significant email only discount at the time).

This particular version of the character features Sonico dressed in her Santa Cape and Swim Suit  complete with holiday trimmings. The hood/cape can also be removed and replaced with Sonico's headphone wire and trademark, long pink hair.

When my purchase arrived I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and detail. Having since discovered the Anime character (and also TV series) the figure is based upon I can say it's a fairly faithful depiction of Super Sonico.

Standing (or is tha…

IGTV - Vertical Video Done Right by Instagram

I am not a huge fan of vertical videos because they are reduced down when played in a standard horizontal format player, so it can be hard to see the detail. Usually vertical videos have black blocks on either side. It feels a lot like your watching the video from a neighbouring dark room through a narrow door frame. Also you don't get as much width in your shots making it hard to frame all of the action.

Instagram TV (IGTV) basically says 'so what' to all of the above. You can access IGTV through an icon menu item on the Instagram app (or I think you can install it separately).
You'll be taken directly to the IGTV app where the first video in your stream will automatically start playing (usually with the sound off) after first seeing some old style TV static to give that authentic 'television' like experience.