Day 1 Mystery Box Rally - Getting There - Home to Norseman 14 October 2018

Monday, Oct 15, 2018 at 05:00

Peter Beard (WA)

Grey skies and wild weather sent Pete and Ali way on their way heading east out of Perth on their latest adventure - across the Nullarbor to Mildura in their fabulous Shitbox Rally car, Henry the Ford, for the 2018 Mystery Box Rally.

Affectionately known as the little brother to the Shitbox Rally, the Mystery Box is also a fundraiser for the Cancer Council and has many hallmarks of its bigger brother. Cars must be old (although not limited to $1,000), teams are formed into buddy groups with the aim of getting everyone across the line at the end of each day and each team must reach a minimum fundraising level (this year $3,500).

But it is only five days long instead of seven and its great twist is that nobody has any idea where they are going. Starting and ending in Mildura entrants will be given a map, turn list and destination each morning - hence the name Mystery Box Rally.

When they get back to Mildura Pete and Ali have another great treat planned - a trip down to Phillip Island for the MotoGP and a well-deserved rest in a nice beachside house. Rounding off the three weeks, they plan to meander back along the Great Ocean Road to Adelaide where Ali will hop on a plane to get back to work leaving Pete to bring Henry home.

With a strong tail wind Henry made excellent time along Great Eastern Highway. They would have preferred to take the shorter route through Hyden but heavy rain in the area has closed the Hyden to Norseman Road at Forrestania.
The tiny town of Meckering was packed, commemorating 50 years since an earthquake flattened the place.

Ali remembers feeling the earthquake in Shoalwater and remember even clearer her dad emerging from the garage where he had been working under the car bellowing at her sister Margs for rocking the car and her mum saying “It was an earthquake, Andrew, an earthquake!”. Pete remembers sitting in a caravan on a stormy day in Northam - not far from the epicentre - thinking that someone was outside rocking the van to give him, his mum and sister Carol a scare.

A fuel and lunch stop at a very windy Southern Cross then an easy trip down to Norseman. The only alarming event was an emu hell bent on throwing itself in front of a car, any car. Fortunately it was not Henry thanks to Pete’s quick reactions.

Dinner tonight is at the Norseman Hotel, accommodation is just down the road at the Railway Hotel. So good to be on the road again!

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