Day 420 | Gnowellen Road near Stirling Ranges National Park: a quiet night on my lonesome

56 km | Heading west total: 15,009 km

The major benefit of solo travelling, (at least as I see it, which might be explained by my previous experience with reluctant travel partners), is that you don’t need to justify any idiosyncratic trajectory. Negotiation not required.

A more straight forward, direct, route from Melbourne to Perth along the highway is just work out the dots along the line. Big day? Or just to the next camping ground.

Highway travel is hard enough with others, when someone usually has to compromise and in my experience the destination, that campsite, can easily be the rationale for travel. Get there quick.

My current method certainly isn’t join the dots travel although I did spend some time plotting the Esperance to Albany route. I gauged it as 16 nights but it’s already hit 17 and there’s still almost a week to go on the roads. The planning was to work out how much food to stock up with, there aren’t many stores out here.

I’ve followed that initial vague plan for the most part but places have conspired to stop me for longer than anticipated: Munglinup Inlet, Point Ann,Gordon Inlet and Beaufort Inlet. If I tell you that national park campground at Point Ann is called St Marys Inlet, you might pick up a pattern here.

There’s a vague and flexible route that is usually followed. The specific roads are worked out the night before, or when you get to the intersection, if they aren’t completely obvious.

Despite the jerky red line across the map marking my path I always know where I am and where I’m headed.

There’s so much more to experience in this corner of the country than, say, the Broome to Karratha highway bash.

Ain’t coming back, soak it all in now, make the most of what you’ve got.