Esperance 13/11/2013 - 23/11/2013
After a refreshing cool night I was woken up by the sound of the ocean in the morning. I left the beach camp to go to Esperance. John, who I have meet at the Horizons Meeting in Perth, had offered me to visit him and his wife Stephanie.
John had written me just two days before as soon as there would be no wild fire he would only be on standby.
What did I see on my way to Esperance? A wild fire!
As I arrived in Esperance I went into Johns office and he gave me the key to his house. With the key I got a description how to find his house and the “order” to make myself comfy, the fried would be filed with cold drinks.
But first I went on to a shopping tour to buy a new Camelbak. I lost my last one on the Hyden – Norseman track, but realised it only 500 KMs later. So I went into the first sports store I could find in town but they had only 2 L ones. But this time I wanted a 3L Camelbak because most of the time 2L haven’t been enough for me. No problem is what the salesman told me, there is a motorcycle store in town that might be selling them, but he wanted to give them a call first and ask them if the 3L were in stock.
They had them in stock. So a bought a new Camelbak and as there was the chance a CO2 tyre pump, because the plug of my 12V tyre pump had failed the day before.
I also went to McDonalds to get one of their 30-cent ice cream cones – that a real good price.
At Johns house I arranged myself in one of the guestrooms, grabbed a cold drink and went into the garden.
I have to admit I was a little bit surprised as John’s wife Stephanie arrived and she had a small kangaroo with her.
She told me it had lost its mother in a car accident and now she was nursing it until it was big enough to be released in one of the national parks.
Because of the fire John came back home late in the evening, but he took his time to mark interesting points to go to in map, gave me a lot of literature and told me some facts about Esperance.
The next morning I went into town to get a new plug for my tyre pump and fixed it.
Around midday I herded of to one of Johns points of interest – the 22 KM beach from Wylie Beach to Cape Le Grand. My first kilometres ever on a beach have been a little bit unstable but later it went really good. I only had to dig out the bike two times :)
At the car park of Cape Le Grand I saw a young couple arriving on a R 1200 GS and they hat the same intension than me: go hiking. So we went together and had some interesting talks for the next hours.
The next day I went to Mount Ridley. You can see Aboriginal rock paintings and another wave rock at Mount Ridley. But it is a big difference to the wave rock in Hyden. The road to get to Mount Ridley could be called a little bit tougher and you have to climb the mountain to see the interesting parts, ergo no busses with tourists :)
As I went up early on Saturday morning to get two phone call to Germany done, I used the day to get to Cape Le Grand for a second time. Surely I used the beach ride again :)
In the park I hiked to the summit of Frenchman’s Peak.
And I visited all the nice beaches.
Sunday started relaxing for me in kayak on the ocean, but two times in the ocean next to the kayak ;)
In the afternoon it got really hot (for me as a German) and the temperatures got up to 37°C so I decided to visit the museum of Esperance.
How to cook a roo
John had not had enough fire fighting them the hole weekend so we had a nice BBQ in the evening.
Mondays there was an massively temperature drop to only 16°C so I had a day of loafing around with John in his shed, doing a little bit of bike maintenance and planning to build something like a tool tube for my tripod.
Because the weather hadn’t gotten any better the next morning I started building my tube.
But I thought you have to give it a test first before you use it. So I put in a water bottle and went onto a 300 KM test ride to Cape Arid National Park. There was another beach that John had marked on my map so it had to be tested as well.
My water pipe did the ride really well.
The next day I got up early to accompany John at his work. We did bird counting on several spots of a lake.
And took water samples form all the different lakes in town.
Thursday morning I said goodbye to Stephanie and the little Joey and appointed a meeting place with John for the next day because he wanted to show me some of the really good places.
I went back to the Cape Le Grand National Park to camp a night at Lucky Bay.
Because I did not want to go back to Norseman to start crossing the Nullarbor Plains I choose a gravel road that would work as a little short cut.
On the half of the road I wanted to meet John at the old Deralinya homestead.
Its owners restore the homestead and you can use it as a free campground.
I was surprised to find Roger one of the owners behind the building working on a roof.
He told me they had a 20-year reunion the next day at the homestead but we were cordially invited to join them.
Because it was only early afternoon Roger took me on to a 4WD ride to show me the surrounding area of Deralinya.
When John arrived Roger was just ready to serve the food he had prepared for all of us.
Roger gave us a room for the night what was quite good because it was raining the whole evening.
The next morning John and I went off and start to explore Mount Coobaninya near Deralinya.
Then we went north to the direction of Belladonia Roadhouse to hit the Eyre highway.
Only 12 KMs away from the destination John knew a little detour on the Old Telegraph Track. It went into the wrong direction but John said I might see wild camels along the track at one of the salt lakes. Unfortunately there were none :(
But I had to get off my bike involuntary one time :)
Our way to the Eyre Highway we choose by one criterion – the track has to go north.
Short after we got onto the Eyre Highway we got off again because John wanted to take me to lookout over the Fraser Ranges. On the track going there I nearly hit an eagle that was scared of the ground by Johns bike.
Arriving at the lookout I had to fuel up my bike because otherwise I wouldn’t have made it to the Belladonia Roadhouse.
Filling up the tanks at Belladonia isn’t cheap, we had to pay 2.10$ per litre. But John and I could leave the Roadhouse after we had fuel up the bikes and had an ice cream, not so two backpacker 4WDs they were stranded.
It is a must do to take a photo at the “90 Miles Straight” sign even if you leave them after a few kilometres to go on in the shrubs.
John took me to of his discoveries an old car wrack in the middle of nowhere.
Just a few kilometres further on the same plain we setup our tents or in Johns case his swag for the night. A great spot to camp.