How we love the australian accent! Though sometimes we don’t understand them completely, we do love the friendliness and sincerity of Aussie mates. We spent the first few hours after getting our campervan dropping by every bookstore, fuel station just to get our south western australian map replaced. We somehow lost our map, don’t ask why, cos we have not figured that out either. It was not easy as it was public holiday here. After getting a not-so-bad western australian map we hit road and drove eastwards. After driving for some 300km (and surviving some 40-mins drive by Yinru) we put up our first night at a camp site at Corrigin. A night at such a campsite cost 30AUS (this time two beers inclusive). Yinru was excited as it was her first campervan experience! Minnced beef with pasta and carrots was on the menu tonight, with some must-have barbeque sauce.
On second day we continued journey and drove another two hours to arrive at Wave Rock. Before visiting the rock formation we went to visit the wildlife park nearby. We saw numerous beautiful birds, koala(!), kangaroos(!!), white kangaroo (!!!) and other animals. Thereafter we prepared and ate our lunch at a picnic site in the area. Having enough energy now we visited the Wave Rock and walked 20km around (ok maybe 2km). The huge wave (about 18m in height) was impressive with beautiful colors when hit by the sunlight. After having another walk around on a short track through local wilderness spotting some beautiful birds we drove furter south-east. As dusk was approaching and we havent found a camp we wanted to stay at we decided to do bush camping for the night. We simply parked our vehicle a few dozen meters away from a main road shelterned by trees, had dinner in our van and spent the night.
On Wednesday morning we hit the road early and drove another 300km south-east and arrived in Esperance after three to four hours of endless straight roads surrounded by dry farmlands and small forests. We did some food shopping to refill our stocks (we usually try to buy stocks of fresh veggies, meat, fish etc. for 2-3 days) and then dined at Red Rooster her request, as she has not tried it before. It is something like KFC, just that it is with roasted chicken and not fried chicken. After our stop at Esperance we continued our journey to Cape le Grand National Park, some 60km to the East of town. This National Park is the main reason why we decided to drive the extra 300km eastwards (which we ll have to drive back again to continue our loop). There are two campgrounds at this Park, both at first come first served. On the way we saw signboards written “campsites full” and we were already kinda anxious that there would not be any vacant camp site left for us. We were lucky enough to have the last spot at Lucky Bay Campground with direct view on turquoise water and white sandy beach from our spot. A camping bay cost 20AUD each night (30AUS is usually the norm here). The first evening we did not do a lot as we arrived in late afternoon, had a fried rice with vegetables and some prawns for dinner, a beer and enjoyed the beautiful sunset with a pinkish painted sky. Something worth mentioning: the peacefulness of these campgrounds after 8pm. There were only two caravans with lights on at 9.30pm! Living in the nature you tend to sleep in early and get up early voluntarily, without the need of alarm. Those who know us wouldn’t believe it, but were getting up around 8am without specific schedule these days.
Thursday was filled with one “Wow” after another “Wow”, as we were fascinated by the beauty of the beaches here. We had a hike from Lucky Bay to Thistle Cove in the morning, and drove to Frenchman’s Peak and Hellfire Beach in the afternoon. Hellfire beach was absolutely stunning with its white fine sand and clear blue water perfectly remote. It is almost too difficult to use our limited English to describe its beauty. We also walked around at Lucky bay for an hour or two, embracing the fine white sands, which almost felt like powder sugar or flour. Though the crystal clear waters were so tempting to just jump into it we didn’t make it to swim in the ocean the second day either. The strong chilling breeze from the open ocean together with the lower air temperature of around 23degrees and the cold water from the southern ocean were somehow not very inviting in the end. We also fooled around with the local kangaroos (they tend to be everywhere here. Sometimes just a couple of them jumps through the campground when you’re having dinner, others are sleeping aside the walkways or searching for food at the beach). According to an Australian couple we met (they have been travelling for 16months in their own country) these kangaroos are some of the friendliest they have ever seen. Dinner was a classic: Huge Aussie beef steaks from the BBQ with some grilled onions chunks, chips and veggie.
After spending two days at breathtakingly beautiful beaches perfectly remote in nature with no electricity and hand phone reception there is some driving westwards towards Albany ahead of us with hopefully a powered campsite and a gas station to fuel up our batteries/tank (…and finally one step closer to some of Australia’s finest wineries!). After a few days we feel very comfortable in our mobile home. Need to be said that the modern standard of a campervan like this offers nearly everything you need to live: from a fridge and microwave (the latter we never used so far) to a freshwatertank with a small tap, two stove kitchen, LED lights for the night or a comfortable double bed we got everything we need on our wheels.