We headed into Cape Le Grande for the Lucky Bay Campground and it was everything I imagined. Crystal clear waters melting into turquoise waves. White beaches that squeaked as you walked on them and firm under the wheels of the car with the wind whipping past us. It was the place you imagined when you close your eyes and dream of a beach.
Unfortunately our first day was not spent walking beaches, the car needed a service. So we headed into Esperance and spent 5 long hours wandering the town. We walked the foreshore, and watched a guy walking his dogs. Well one of the dogs walked, the other one swam about 50 meters off shore, occasionally barking as he paddled. Apparently it preferred it to walking. We tested out the playgrounds around the town, visited a few shops and did some geocaching. The kids even braved a little playground off the jetty for a quick dip. Lucky there were solar warm showers for afterwards!
The next day we explored Cape Le Grande, mostly we walked on white beaches, climbed huge rocks and hunted for wildflowers. All the beaches are the most gorgeous turquoise colour, with waves crashing in on the surrounding rocks.
Despite the sunny day and inviting water no one was swimming, the kids were tempted to strip and take a dip until we bumped into a couple fishing. Apparently the reason for the lack of swimmers was that a 5m Great White had been spotted at Lucky Bay the day before. Nice. So no swimming for us. We created a few masterpieces in the sand – I particularly like Zachary’s portrait of me.
But it was still an amazing day with gorgeous views, I was utterly regretting only staying the 3 nights.
That evening it all changed when gale force winds moved in. I clung to the front awning as Jamie, the kids and the nice guy from next door attempted to tie down the awnings over the bed. Without them we would be soaked through by morning. The wind did manage to rip through one of the awning seams but since Zachary is continuously finding ropes everywhere we travel we had enough. That night the whole van shook, the rain pounded down and I have no idea how the kids slept so well. I was a nervous wreck that at any moment the whole thing would collapse. But we survived and after Jamie stitched up the awning we were on our way to the Nullarbor.
Since we began our trip Jamie has had his heart set on playing the Nullarbor links. 18 holes played over 15 courses from Kalgoorlie through to Ceduna. Now when I say courses I am slightly stretching the bounds of reality. Apart from the Kalgoorlie course, which is gorgeous, most of them are one hole at a roadhouse.
Even then there is usually a square of fake grass to start, a long stretch of rocks, trees, 3 corner jacks, snakes and then a bit of green carpet with a hole in it and a flag. I was a bit disappointed after all the build up it gets, and I think Jamie was too. But it was fun to break up the trip and the kids loved charging hell for leather after balls Jamie had shanked off into bushes.
More depressing was the amount of roadkill on the side of the road, kangaroos and wombats everywhere.
We free camped our way along the long winding road and ended up in Ceduna for a few nights to take stock and do a heap of washing. The kids found the TV room and sat entranced by ABC kids for the evening. We’ve lost 2.5 hours coming from WA into SA and I am struggling. I was threatening to the kill the kids at 10pm if they did not go to sleep and with the wind whipping the van again I struggled to sleep. Too many creaky noises!
The next day we hit the road for the last 2 golf holes and Jamie’s little certificate. I’ll tuck it away until I can create something, although considering his score I am not sure he wants to remember! We headed down to Smokey Bay and their oyster sheds. We found one open and the manager Steve fed Jamie a dozen oysters and then gave us a tour of the shed. It was amazing to hear about buying the hundred of thousands of baby oyster sprats and slowly growing them into a size ready for eating. I am not an oyster fan but it was fascinating. We finished in Ceduna with another dozen oysters Kilpatrick for Jamie!
Tomorrow we hit the road for the Gawler Ranges and apparently lots of wombats!!