El Freddo's Epic WA Road Trip:

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El_Freddo
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Post by El_Freddo » Sat Feb 20, 2016 1:24 pm

Every homestead and road house on the old Eyre Highway apparently had a graveyard of vehicles that didn't make it. I could spend hours poking around in this area:

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“Fill 'er up mate”

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^ When we were here last time there were two pumps and they both looked in much better condition that the one's that left is in now.

We drove to our next photo opp with the Bight where we aired up and took a pile of pics:

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I can't get over how amazing these cliffs are and the colour of the ocean as you look from the cliffs southwards. I also don't have the right lens, angle or desired location for Ruby Scoo to get the pic I'm really after.

After leaving here outside temps hit 44 degrees, Ruby Scoo ran like a dream with AC on full tilt at 110km/h. Mrs El Freddo complained that she was too cold at one point in the direct airstream. We stopped off at the Nullarbor Roadhouse for fuel before jetting off again towards Ceduna. Near the eastern end of the cliffs we came across the remnants of what was previously a tyre expoded all over the road. I even made comment to Mrs El Freddo about there being an unhappy truckie at his next fuel stop. A couple of hundred metres up the road was the lines of the rim running on the bitumen. Coming over the crest of the hill we saw a caravan stopped before the crest of the next hill – oddly enough the lines followed them off the side of the road.

So we pulled over to help them out. Single axle caravan, range rover bottle jack (mine) and the jack was hard work. Turned out they'd been to Margret River and had a dozen cases of wine in the caravan headed back to Sydney. They were an older couple and there was no way they were able to change the tyre. So I did it for them. The rim was destroyed as you could imagine.

Once we were done they left and I repacked our car with our tools etc. They wanted to leave us with a case of wine for our efforts which we declined – they insisted so I pointed at my car and asked where would I put it?

Before we left there was an old cassette tape on the side of the road which I thought looked cool – I had unfortunately disturbed it a little with moving around between the vehicles, it still looks good though:

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Thinking that the grey nomads would be doing about 80km/h with their huge load and now no spare for the van I was sure we'd catch them up before long. About 250km later we caught them up probably due to a couple of big loads that held some vehicles up until they could pass. These guys were still hoofing along happily just under 110km/h. I couldn't believe it.

Anyway, we had a late lunch/early dinner in Penong, then fuelled up in Ceduna. We were hoping to make it to the eastern side of Port Augusta – but where to camp had not been decided. On this return trip it seemed that most of what we travelled at night we did during the day and vise versa with exception to the Nullarbor Plain area from the WA/SA border which was good for us. Back in Kimba:

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We ended up camping less than 30km west of Iron Knob on a secluded roadside rest stop, again late at night but not as late as the night before. Back on the road the next day we came across another escorted oversized load convoy:

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"The lounge room is not a workshop..."
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El_Freddo
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Post by El_Freddo » Sat Feb 20, 2016 1:25 pm

At around this time I'd made contact with another forum and facebook friend that I was yet to meet in person – Brumby Boy. We made a small detour after fuelling up in Port Augusta, back through that awesome road through the range out to where he was working on one of his boss's properties:

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It was a good meet/catch up/check out each other's rides we've read so much about. Then back to the drive – I decided to head back to the main highway, via that same road again through the ranges, it was much better not having to watch engine temp like a hawk this time! Then it was south to Adelaide hoping to catch up with some family – turned out everyone was away. So we got straight to business cutting a lap in the Adelaide CBD and promptly getting stuck in their peak hour. One the way out we grabbed a couple of pizzas and fuelled up.

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One of our last pics of the trip was our shadow cast by the setting sun as we approached a town near Keith. Also around this area we saw the aftermath of a crash where a family managed to put a hired winnebago into some of the safety cameras at Kiki. I don't know how they did it but they got it up on the other side of the armco railing with the front wheels in the air on the road side of the railing where the whole vehicle should have been. It didn't look like they'd rolled it either.

Next we fuelled up in Boarder Town before trying for “home” in Bendigo. We swapped drivers regularly and pulled over for a few hours to sleep at one point. Mrs El Freddo finished off the drive and we arrived at 7am in Benders.

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Awesome trip, I kind of wish we were still cutting a lap around this big country of ours, with a few trips darting inland... Maybe one day but unfortunately I doubt it'll be in Ruby Scoo.

A huge thanks goes to Subarino and Mrs Subarino for putting us up during our visit, and we're forever grateful for the extra time and patience from you while Ruby Scoo was “in for repairs”.
Vidler for his welding skills and his links to mates (Rob) who also helped out (read dug me out of a hole); RSR555 for his time, contacts, building/directing and the final check over Ruby Scoo. Toonga for hanging out with RSR555 and I for the day – and being our wheels.
Taza for towing me out of Lancelin, lending me jacks, stands etc and for your help with the gearbox removal.

I'm sure there are others that I've forgotten to mention – everyone's efforts are greatly appreciated!

And I enjoyed catching up with old mates and meeting new ones too.

Good times!

Cheers

Bennie
"The lounge room is not a workshop..."
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Subydoug
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Post by Subydoug » Sat Feb 20, 2016 4:03 pm

Niiiiiice Bennie! Great photos, sexy car and some all too familiar places. Shame about the box and rad trouble, though by the sounds of it you had a good time just the same. Bit annoyed I was away, would have been nice to say hi. Are you going to be adding to your GB build thread about what went wrong?

Looking forward to your next trip report.

Regards

Doug

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Post by TOONGA » Sat Feb 20, 2016 5:19 pm

Wow thats a journey alright I drove from QLD to WA in 1983 there were three of us and we did the drive in just under 3 days.

Some of those places have not changed others look like they have just been built.

Nice pics and was great to meet you and the family.

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Post by Silverbullet » Sat Feb 20, 2016 5:48 pm

Mate, that is an excellent trip report :) Thoroughly enjoyed the read and some really nice photos too! That was an epic journey, too bad about the gearbox troubles that's a real shame after all the work you've put into it. But from troubles like that good memories are made by the looks of it with that Subie convention pic ;) Sad I didn't get to catch a glimpse of Ruby scoo on your way back, seems weird to see you posting a picture of my home town :p

I can't wait to be able to do some big drives in my wagon, I think we're pretty lucky in this country to be able to drive for so many thousand k's and see such varied country and terrain. Better to enjoy it while we still can ;)
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Post by henpecked » Sat Feb 20, 2016 9:59 pm

Great read, great pictures, and a great (and safe) trip.

Really glad that you and yours had such a good time, and it's always a feel good time when I read about people that you only know on forums getting to meet and help out each other in person 100's of k's away from home, makes the forum concept realy show its worth.

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Post by NachaLuva » Sun Feb 21, 2016 11:14 am

Awesome trip report & pics. I'd love to see some more of the ones from those pure white dunes where you did your gearbox. That looks like such a great spot to spend a day or 2!

So many awesome Subies in Perth! :cool:
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El_Freddo
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Post by El_Freddo » Tue Feb 23, 2016 5:39 pm

Cheers guys! Would love to still be out there!

Gearbox will make a mention in the build thread at some point - just need time. As it was this trip report took 3 or 4 sittings just to type it out!

Can't wait to get back there, got a few things to sort out on Ruby Scoo - even before what ever the next trip is...

Cheers

Bennie
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Post by Thalass » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:21 am

Wow! Awesome pics from an awesome trip. Also now I'm homesick. :P
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El_Freddo
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Post by El_Freddo » Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:35 pm

Thalass wrote:Wow! Awesome pics from an awesome trip. Also now I'm homesick. :P
Hehehe... Sorry mate!

If it helps, I find myself still living this trip from time to time. I need to head back out to the Nullarbor for more personal exploring. I don't know if I'll ever make it into some of those remote deserts further north... But I'd love to some day!

Cheers

Bennie
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Post by NachaLuva » Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:07 pm

El_Freddo wrote: If it helps, I find myself still living this trip from time to time. I need to head back out to the Nullarbor for more personal exploring. I don't know if I'll ever make it into some of those remote deserts further north... But I'd love to some day!
Maybe later this year we should do a trip out there...if my little Foz survives the next few months lol
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El_Freddo
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Post by El_Freddo » Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:10 pm

That'd be awesome - it's just time and money for me (and convincing Mrs El Freddo).

Ultimately I'd love to be on the epic desert trip for many reasons - one is that it'd be awesome to be a part of the record breaking group. Stuart's something that cannot be repeated :(

The Nullarbor in winter would be very interesting, I've only ever experienced it in small doses during the hot weather periods. September would be interesting too!

Cheers

Bennie
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Post by NachaLuva » Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:55 pm

We're already planning another epic trip for 2017, coast to coast :twisted:
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Post by Bumpty » Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:31 pm

An absolute epic trip, Freddo!

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wagonist
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Post by wagonist » Fri Apr 01, 2016 10:34 am

Would love to do most of this drive sometime.
Out of curiousity, some of those "off-road" (not the beaches) places look like they were pretty hard packed & wouldn't need 4wd.
How much of the trip do you reckon could be done with a 2wd?
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