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We are sat at the service station with the map laid out on the bonnet of our motorhome. The sun is beating down from high above causing my chocolate ice cream to melt and run down my arm like a muddy stream.
The mid-day heat is fogging my thoughts and I am drifting into a day dream. I’ve no idea why Ben is looking at the map. There is only one highway and we are on it. Unless we turn around there is only one direction in which we can travel.
There are no side roads that lead anywhere other than into the deserted outback and the only civilization we are likely to meet are the road houses that appear sporadically along the route.
The Nullarbor Plain is a 1100km stretch of tarmac that connects the south east and south west of Australia. Known as the quintessential Aussie road trip the highway is famous with locals and tourists alike.
Bordered by the towns of Ceduna and Norseman, the highway runs across the world’s largest single piece of limestone. Occupying an area of about 200,000 square kilometers this expanse of desert is predominately arid and flat.
The Latin translation of Nullarbor is ‘treeless’ and as you cross the wide expanse it is evident why. Deemed uninhabitable by the first European settlers the land has remained property of Mother Nature, home to just a handful of extensive cattle ranges and rural farms.
When the sun sets on another day in the outback the temperatures begin to drop. Each night we make camp out under the stars and are blessed with a view of the solar system the like of which I’ve never seen before.
An unimaginable number of twinkling lights mesmerise and inspire reflection as we sit out by the camp fire and toast our adventures.
Waking up after a peaceful night of unbroken sleep the sky is heavy with mist and dew, moisture blown in from the coast just a few miles away. At times we break from travelling, head down to the shore and traverse the cliffs to collect flotsam and jetsam washed up by the turbulent seas.
Hiking the coastline and watching out for whales is just another Nullarbor activity that fills me with a feeling of freedom and the desire for a more modest existence.
Back on the road we hit the longest stretch of straight tarmac in the whole of Australia; over 190km in a straight line proves to be a somewhat challenging route to drive. Surprisingly it’s rather difficult to keep your focus when the horizon melts into the vanishing point in the middle distance.
Our week long journey across the unforgiving Nullarbor Plain was a humbling experience. Exposed to the elements and alone in the wilderness I felt for the first time truly connected with the world in which I live.
Bio: Freelance writer and blogger Charli is a digital nomad currently travelling the world with her other half Ben. A writer / photographer team they run nice adventure travel blog Wanderlusters. Whether backpacking through Central America or road tripping around Australia they embrace each and every opportunity for adventure. If you want to hear more about their insatiable wanderlust make sure you follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
This post is part of the new series on this blog: travel bloggers share their unforgettable travel experiences.