15. Sep, 2021

Day 64 (Mon 13th Sep): Balladonia to Border Village (SA)

We drove from Balladonia to Border Village (SA).

Total distance today: 483 km.
Total charge time: 4 hrs 21 mins for 48.1 kWh.
Total wait time: 0 mins.
Driving Balladonia to Cocklebiddy, 247 kms, 2 hr 35 mins at an avg 95 kph, 208 Wh/km, 81% to 6%.
Charging at Cocklebiddy for 5 hrs 1 mins, added 52.59 kWh, 5 hrs 1 min, 3-phase 16A, 7% to 81%, cost $0.
Driving Cocklebiddy to Border Village, 285 kms, 3 hrs 23 mins at an avg 85 kph, 185 Wh/km, 81% to 4%.
Charging at Border Village for 7 hrs 43 mins, added 74.05 kWh, 0 min wait, 3-Phase 16A, 4% to 100%, cost $0.

We left Balladonia early and drove east to the Wedgetail Inn Hotel at Cocklebiddy. This had two 'rescued' wedge-tail eagles, Samantha and Bruce in a cage and some other birds in another cage. Apparently the population is 8 people, 2 eagles, 25 budgerigars and 7,000 kangaroos. We had to charge there for a long time to get enough charge to move on. We are trying to cross the Nullabor fairly quickly to get home by Friday 17th. We noticed the Eyre Highway has been significantly quieter than the outback roads up north. There are very few caravans and other travellers on the road, most of the traffic was road-trains.

We drove on to Border Village which is a matter of metres inside South Australia, right next to the WA police quarantine checkpoint. There wasn't even a queue to get into WA because the road has been so quiet. We had to complete a permit application online to get into South Australia but there was no road block going east. I plugged the car into the 3-Phase plug in the maintenance area of the Roadhouse, and was grateful the team were very helpful even though we arrived quite late (after 9 pm). The border region has a 45-minute time zone, which the car recognised. This time zone isn't used up in the border between NT and the Kimberleys.

While driving between Cocklebiddy and Border Village we were either ahead of, or following, a road-train for a large amount of the time. We were driving conservatively, mostly around 95 kph despite the 110 kph limit, due to a head-wind (we arrived with just 4% charge remaining). The truck came up from behind us and was about to pass - he was obviously going at the usual truck maximum of 100 kph. But he suddenly stopped. It was dark and I could see he just came to a stop in the middle of the road. After a while he appeared behind us again and overtook us. When he was a significant distance ahead of us he flashed his hazard lights briefly. Steph and I were tossing around reasons why he stopped and why he used his hazards. We'd seen a few roos in the dark, so thought the hazards might have been to warn us of more. We were getting confident about making the battery usage so sped up a bit but stayed behind him. His rear running lights weren't working and I was wondering if we would stop at Border Village so I could tell him. He did stop with us, and came into the roadhouse so I asked him to clear up the mysteries. First, he 'was busting' so stopped for a leak. Second, the hazards were to indicate I could turn on my high-beams without any concern.