Sunday, March 18, 2012

Kalgoorlie to Esperance

Ok so for those of you who have bothered to read earlier versions of the blog you will know that we went to the whore house in Kalgoorlie and then buggered off outa town.  Gill was right about the whore house by the way - the Madam was one eyed and the visit certainly nothing like any of the other whore houses that I have visited – opps shouldn’t have said that!

The trip from Kal to Esp was pretty uneventful really when you think about it.  We just got into the car or really the Patrol and just drove.  We broke the trip just out of Norseman ,to be precise 15K’s north of there in one, of our FREE CAMPING spots that we have come to love.  Must admit we broke all of our own rules as it was reasonably late when we stopped and we couldn’t see much of the camping area.  However we used our normal drive around technique to establish safety.  Yep I just know that you are itching to know what that is well here it is, I will bullet point it for the dummies out there not thinking of anyone of course:-

1)      Arrive at proposed camp spot

2)      Indicate your intention to leave the highway with those flashy things that most cars have called Indicators!!  (Now I can just hear it, some of you will be saying why would I do that?  Well it’s really just so that you don’t –
a) Bump into anyone coming towards you or
b) Have someone run up your ask you mother for sixpence as you slow down
Let me tell you it’s worked thus far cause we have had no such incidence!

3)      Enter the proposed camp spot and if after dark drive around a little to-
a) Find a suitable spot
b) Establish with your headlights that there doesn’t appear to be any axe murderers in sight
c) Look for signs that hoons haven’t used it as their local race track late at night – this can be established two ways (1) are they still there (2) Is there skid mark type evidence that they have been, and no I’m not talking about in their undies!

4)      Look to see that there are not tons of broken bottles around either - they tend to be hard on your tyres

Ok so assuming that there is none of the above, establish camp if not move on!

Next morning we arose early – well at least I did.  I had some phone call to make to the USA yes sir-e 6 am conference call.  Bit of a bugga when you have to connect three different time zones but that’s life.  Gill finally decided about eightish to surface she would tell you it was earlier but hey, I was there so I know then we moved on from our little piece of road side heading again on the way towards Esp. 

Well best laid plans and all that lunch time arrived and we well that is I decided that my stomach needed to be fed again well it was lunchtime I think so we stopped at a little place called ‘Grass Patch’ yep that’s right Grass Patch.  Who the hell would think of a name like that, one wonders was it a Mrs Patch who was having an affair with Mr Grass and when they stopped they just said let’s call this place after our little secrets or just maybe it was one of the little Patch’s who wanted to stop for a pee when they were travelling and Mrs Patch said from this day forth this place shall be known as Grass Patch – good god the mind just goes wild with possibilities.  Second reason to stop was that I need to make another of those business calls and there was good phone reception in Grass Patch.

Anyways we did finally arrive in Esperance about 2:30 pm and for anyone who was watching Malcolm our little satellite device thingy you will know what time we really got here, decided that this was going to be at least a three day stop so we booked into a camp ground – bit of a change for us really. 

Now for what we have done since then I will leave that up to Gill, really though I shouldn’t have to do all of the work:-
Esperance from Rotary Lookout
It was good to leave the desert behind and reach the coast.  Esperance has a population of about 14,500 and is a popular holiday spot.  Along the waterfront there are a large number of Norfolk Pines – in fact I think that there are too many as the town is in the shadows.  The shopping area is quite small – a Woolworths and no Coles which is a little surprising, and a handful of other shops and the customary KFC, Subway, McDonalds.  There is a busy wharf area and while we have been here there have been a number of large ships either tied up at the wharf or waiting in the bay.
 Further view from Rotary Lookout
There are two main “tourist attractions” in the area – the first the Great Ocean Drive and the second Cape Le Grand National Park.  To a much lesser degree there is Cape Arid.  We decided that we would visit the first two and Cape Arid is nearly 100 kms east.
At the commencement of Great Ocean Drive (which is to the west of Esperance) is the Rotary Lookout.  This gives a good panoramic view of Esperance and to the west Dempster Head.  From here we started the 22 km drive with our first stop at Dempster Head.  We were amazed at the blueness of the water.  We waded in the water which initially was really cold but we soon accustomed to it.  There were a few people swimming.  We continued along the drive calling into most of the bays.  Our lunch stop was at Twilight Beach, a really beautiful bay.  Next stop was at Observation Point where Peter walked to the top of the lookout and I waited at the base – too many stairs for me today.
No bathers today
Our next stop had a surprise for us – it was called Ten Mile Lagoon and was sign posted as a “free beach” – yes you guessed it, nudity allowed.  We weren’t going to be participants and there didn’t appear to be any others there either. 
The road soon left the coast behind and commenced the loop back into Esperance.  It pass the Pink Lake which is mainly a large dry salt lake (although there was some water in the centre) that is coloured pink by minerals.  When we saw it, it wasn’t particularly pink and we understand that this was because there had been recent rain. 
As rain was forecast for Sunday we decided we would drive out to Cape Le Grand National Park – this is about 50 kms east of Esperance along the coast.  Our first stop was at Rossiter Bay which has no facilities but is popular for four wheel driving on the beach and bird watching.  Lucky Bay is a very popular spot with camping facilities – there were a number of caravans and tents in the camping ground and there were day facilities.   We took the walk down to the water edge where some folk were swimming off the rocks.  There is a memorial to Matthew Flinders commemorating his circum navigation of Australia in 1802 when he named this area Lucky Bay.  Our last stop was at the Grand Beach and camping area.  This beach is known as at times kangaroos are seen on the beach – unfortunately they weren’t there for us.  We did however see both emu and kangaroo in the paddocks on the way into the Park.
Our last stop for the day was at a replica of Stonehenge that has been built in the last twelve months.  These large granite boulders have been quarried adjacent to the property and are a full size replica of the original “Stonehenge” in the UK.  The structure has been aligned with the summer solstice sunrise in Esperance (22 December) which allows the sun rays to pass through.  We certainly didn’t see that and it was quite difficult to get photos because of the shadows and we were there late in the day.  It was interesting to see as I have visited Stonehenge in the UK.
Today is Sunday and we have enjoyed a day at “home” and not going too far from the caravan.  We caught up with the washing before the rain set in late in the day.  We even managed to get in a reasonable walk along the promenade and back through the shopping centre (which was all closed as it is Sunday and we are getting used to no trading on Sundays) with only a few drops of rain on us.  I even had time to cook a large sultana cake (using an old recipe from my Mum) and a casserole for dinner!  If the heavy rain, which has now settled in, continues we will not be packing up tomorrow and will just stay another night – we are not in a hurry anyway.
 Dempster Head
 Dempster Head
 10,000 steps walking trail
 Twilight Beach
Our lunch spot at Twilight Beach
  Dolphins Beach
 Wind farm near Observatory Point
 Observation Point
 Waiting at the base of the stairs at Observation Point
 Pink Lake (Salt) Esperance
Rossiter Bay
4wdriving at Rossiter Bay
 Lucky Bay
 Memorial to Matthew Flinders
 Memorial plaque from 1802 to Matthew Flinders


  1. Really beginning to worry about you to - Peter chopping off his hair, visits to brothels, nude beaches and god knows what else, Gil paddling in the ocean - there isn't much next I would suggest

    1. We have even stayed in a few camp grounds over the last week or so this cannot continue!