Rigabold the pernicketness drove on through the night, it was a lonely trip but lonely was not really a concern to a Tumcuddulan because they had taught themselves long ago how to keep themselves company when alone for long periods. Although the traffic was not by any means busy during the daylight hours there was significantly less traffic in the darkness. There was a few cars, or smaller vehicles, but most of what he saw was trucks, big, long trucks with lots of lights that could be seen for ages before they actually crossed paths.
One difference Rigabold noticed between the day time traffic and the night time traffic was that truck drivers seemed to be more chatty on the CB radio. Whether it was because they were bored, because the roads were a little bit more dangerous, or because they truck drivers had a vested interest in making sure the drivers coming towards them were awake, Rigabold wasn’t sure but some of the conversations he had definitely broke the monotony of the open, dark road.
The conversations were often short because the roads east of Nullarbor roadhouse became more hilly and there was more shrubs, bushes and trees that could interrupt the signals of the short wave UHF radio but there was still a few good stories shared.
One such story was about a wheat harvester that roamed the roads during the night looking for fields or paddocks to harvest. The big blue New Holland harvester supposedly moved slowly throughout the night, with no lights, taking up the entire road and keeping other road users alert and safe. Rigabold of course did not believe the story any more than he believed the fairytales he was told as a wee Tumcuddulan. To him a large hulking machine that moved at walking pace in the dark with no lights working as some sort of safety beacon was as believable as the skinny yellow walrus like creature that Tumcuddulan children were told brought a sack full of presents up through the sewer pipes once every year. But he didn’t upset the truck driver who told him the story by expressing his disbelief.
There was the faintest traces of daylight appearing on the eastern horizon when Rigabold pulled up to the Nundroo Roadhouse. It was a twenty four hour road house but to suggest Nundroo was anything more than that for most travellers was a bit of an overstatement. His GPS told him that both Nundroo and Yalta, the small dot on the map, completely closed to all visitors, that he passed about an hour before arriving at Nundroo, had relatively large indigenous communities which were not generally accessible to the general public.
The GPS also told him that the Nundroo area had an extremely large population of Southern Hairy Nose Wombats, the largest in Australia thanks to their remoteness, it also told him that it was the remoteness which shielded the animals from diseases that all but wiped out the Northern Hairy Nosed Wombat. The numbers of wombats in the area was so high that even with the indigenous community hunting them for food and local farmers eradicating them as a pest their numbers were still not threatened.
The large number of wombats was also the reason the fourth hole of the Nullarbor Links Golf Course was named Wombat Hole. It was a dog leg left, par five hole which to Rigabold looked like one of the more challenging holes on the entire course. He walked the hole from tee to cup, then back to the tee and although the sun had not shown signs of rising daylight was rising and the early morning walk was pleasant and quiet with both kangaroos and wombats out looking for an early morning feed. Although many travellers along the Nullarbor struggled with the idea of daylight dawning at 4:30am it didn’t worry Rigabold, to him one hour was much the same as another whether it was light or dark.
Back at the roadhouse, after documenting the fourth hole, Rigabold was not surprised to see his Dodge was the only one in the parking area. Not only was it early and travellers other than truckies were few and far between but Nundroo, according to his GPS, was one of the least busy roadhouses along the Nullarbor. Something else that was not overly surprising to him was that they did not have any Chiko Rolls available for him to eat, the man behind the counter happily offered him a hamburger, or the more traditional eggs and bacon as a breakfast offering but Rigabold knew no matter how well such things were cooked they just didn’t replace a Chiko Roll.
Rigabold would have felt a little guilty, not a feeling Tumcuddulan’s got often, for stopping at the roadhouse and chatting to the man behind the counter for so long had he not bought anything and given the man some service. So after a quick deliberation he decided upon three egg and bacon rolls for breakfast, and a feelgood feeling for supporting the man’s business.
After a stop of more than thirty minutes Rigabold climbed back into his Dodge with three egg and bacon rolls and a large disposable cup of coffee. In the time he was inside daylight had fully dawned and sun was beginning to poke it’s nose over the horizon.
Out on the highway and headed east once again Rigbaold bit into his first egg and bacon roll, immediately he thought that while it was no Chiko Roll it was a good breakfast. The perfectly cooked egg that was runny but not running everywhere, the crispy bacon and the spicy barbecue and chilli sauce all blended together to be a wonderful taste sensation in absence of the Chiko Roll.
As the ball in the eastern horizon got larger the GPS in the dashboard of the Dodge, which had been a bit lazy since leaving Perth and spent it’s time playing ambient music suddenly interrupted with rocking tune. According to the screen it wasn’t a song based on the geography around him or it was based only on Rigabold was seeing.