Saturday, June 27, 2009

Kangaroos on the beach, a new friend and horizontal abseiling

Esperance is GORGEOUS! It probably helped that the weather was much better, but it’s a very lovely town. We stopped by the jetty for lunch, and got talking to a couple who recommended a few sights in the area. We’ve tended to do this, rather than rely solely on guidebooks. The kids enjoyed the clear blue water and white sand while Trucky and I chatted to another couple, this time fellow bus enthusiasts who live in theirs fulltime.

We headed that afternoon to Cape Le Grand National Park. Dodging the kangaroos, we saw in the distance an old black Roll Royce. They stopped, we stopped and all ran toward each other, hugging and laughing like long-lost friends. We’d never met, but heard from various people along the way, of another family with young kids travelling around seeing the sights. A couple of differences from us – they’ve been on the road for 9 YEARS, they have four very young kids (7, 4, 1 ½ and 3 months) in an old 1924 Rolls and a tent, and they’re travelling around the WORLD! They were such genuine, friendly people it was a shame we only had a few minutes to chat. (Check out their website at

We stayed at Le Grand Beach, where the facilities are outstanding. Our bay had a little walking track that lead us right to the beach. We were running up and down watching the sunset, when a fisherman came over the track and down to the beach to try his luck in the surf. We all started chatting, and he and Trucky found lots in common, including a passion for abseiling. Dean the travelling New Zealander joined us for dinner, then he and Trucky strung Alex and Daniel up in harnesses and the young boys practised their manoeuvres tied to the bus.

The next morning Jess, Alex and I walked from Thistle Cove to Lucky Bay, while Daniel, Trucky and Dean tried to find a good abseiling spot. Our walk was quite an easy one, but involved some sections of scrambling over rocks, some glorious scenery and lots of wildlife. Once we got to Lucky Bay we wandered down to the beach, and to our complete astonishment, there was a family of kangaroos also looking to enjoy the water. They lazed in the seaweed, played in the waves, ate, scratched their backs on the sand and generally had a great time. We watched them for ages, with Jess even running back up to the car park to alert some of our fellow travellers. I had no idea kangaroos liked water, and watching them run (okay, hop) toward to big crashing waves with the enthusiasm of children really surprised me. And as if this wasn’t enough, there was a baby whale in the bay too! Talk about Lucky Bay!!

The abseilers had no luck finding anywhere suitable, so the three grabbed their rods and fished instead, at Thistle Cove while they waited for us to complete our return journey. Dean caught a flathead (which he kindly shared with us at dinner that night) then we all returned to Le Grand Beach. The kids spent several hours body-boarding, while I sat on the beach and read, and Trucky and Dean fished.

I think we all felt we could have easily spent several weeks there, walking, swimming, fishing and just relaxing. But there’s always more to see! The tourist loop around Esperance took us to some more glorious beaches, and to Pink Lake, which is kinda mauve if you squint.

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