OK, so today we got back on the plan and headed for Balladonia. When originally planning this part of our trip we had expected to travel the Balladonia Track from Cape Arid National Park, but as I mentioned in an earlier post the park and that track are closed so we had to select an alternative route and that alternative was the Parmango Road, which as you can see is noted as a 4wd route only and also a route devoid of services for nealy 120 miles, and so it turned out. It tooks us nearly 6 hours to travers the 120 miles (4 hours driving and lots of stops), the first 45 miles were paved (though sometimes the paving was only wide enough for one vehicle), and much of the unpaved section was firm and often rock, making for easy driving but there were definietly a few sections of very soft sand/dust that could have been a problem for 2wd low clearance vehicles. Had the road been wet or had the weather been raining the story could have been very different. There were very long sections of clay with deep troughs from previous wet weather travels still visible.
We only passed 4 other vehicles in the 120 miles. One pickup pulling an offroad camper trailer and three road trains. The road trains are visible for miles because of the dust cloud they generate, and in each case we pulled completely off the road and faced the vehicle away from the road as each train passed us by. It is difficult to see but in the photo of the first road train see if you can detect the third trailer on the vehicle it is almost copmpletely obscured by dust.
About two thirds of the way along this route we passed by the ruins of Deralinya Homestead which was established in 1890 by one of the pioneering families in the area. Interestimg the place is in very good condition, still furnished and provided with a functional kitchen and outhouse. We assumed that some local farmers still uses the place for over-nighting.
Balladonia is not much more than a road-house (gas station, restaurant, motel and campground) on the Eyre Highway (the one that crosses the Nullarbor). Its claim to fame on the world stage is that in 1979 pieces of SkyLab crashed into the Australian desert nearby and some of those pieces are now on display in Balladonia's small museum. To me the more interesting part of the museum was the car and information about the famous (to baby boomer Australians) RED-X Round Australia Trails of the 1950. Your forgiven for having never heard of these events.