Well it has to be said the camper is rather comfortable and other than being a bit chilly we had an outstanding nights sleep. The plan was to go watch the sunrise at Wave Rock but at 0500hrs (yes, you read that right) it was very dull, grey and overcast. Si went out anyway for a run, and I turned over and went back to sleep for an hour. Whilst he was out, Si had two kangaroos cross the road in front of him near The Hippos mouth, but wasn't quick enough to get the phone out for a photo. Hippos Mouth photographs better in the morning and looks more Hippo Mouthy than at dusk. It was considerably later he came back via wave rock to see the sunlight on it, and whilst it was illuminated a little, it wasn't lighting it up.
After a boiling hot shower, and wash up tea stuff from last night, we decided to make a move. Check out was at 1000hrs and with the keys handed over at 0915 we headed out back onto the 40 highway.
There is a toy soldier and lace making museum on the opposite side of the road to the camp site, unfortunately it was closed when we went. I believe they have an entry fee, but I am unsure of how much it is. There is also a wildlife sanctuary that is run by the same family that is quite close by.
The road down to Esperance has massive straight runs and for the first hour saw just one road train. I love that there was a sign on the side of the road that says you are entering a wave zone. Please wave. I wave at everyone anyway so didn't need telling twice.
We saw my first kangaroo on this trip today, and Simon's third. Well, I say kangaroo, it was more just its skeleton and ears left. But it was definitely a kangaroo. A live one might have been nicer but the road kill counts!
If we hadn't been able to camp at Wave rock last night, we would have driven on to Varley and stayed in the truck stop. Despite having all the facilities you could possibly need it wasn't very appealing at all. We concluded that we were destined to stay at the rock site.
On leaving the campground the sun was shining, it was a warm 21* and there were a few little puffs of clouds in the sky. By the time were a few km outside of Raventhorpe there were tiny spots of rain on the windscreen. Although it didn't last long we were a little disconcerted to see it.
We stopped off in Ravensthorpe for a drink. Right there, bright signs signalling to anyone passing by was the lolly shop or sweet shop. Oh my days, I was in sweetie heaven!! There was everything in that bad boy, pick and mix, I mean who doesn't love pick and mix?? every flavour chocolate imaginable, old fashioned sweets, huge fizzy laces and shelf upon shelf of delicious fattening goodies. You will be impressed to know that I didn't feed my sweet tooth, I merely wafted the sweets under my nose. We then walked out with a chamomile tea. I have to confess it wasn't a patch on the pick and mix I was eyeing up.
Leaving Raventhorpe we continued on towards Esperance. A small holiday town located in the southernmost part of Western Australia. Its main industries are tourism, agriculture and fishing. The French get the credit for naming it after after sheltering from a storm in the area. The name Esperence is French for hope, and the town itself was named after a French ship of the same name it has some of the best beaches in the world.
Fun fact, in 1979 pieces of the American space station Skylab crashed onto Esperence after breaking up over the Indian Ocean. The state fined USA $400 for littering, and the fine was paid on behalf of NASA by a radio show host who fundraised through his listeners. The Skylab Incident hit all the main stream media and The San Francisco Examiner offered a $10000 prize for the first piece of Skylab to be delivered to their offices. A 17year old collected a few pieces off the roof of his house, hopped on the first plane to San Francisco and collected the prize.
We'd neglected to book a campsite, (there's a theme here!) Purely because we are winging it, and as such the only option open to us was the overspill campground on the town. It's basically a huge sports complex, that allows you to stay there. There are toilets and showers available 24/7 and it's only open December and January. Purely to assist people like us, who are winging it. To be fair there's a vast amount of space and on checking in we were directed to the area between the sports hall's. There was no electric hook up points, but as we only have to charge every 3rd night there was no problem. When you check in it's $40aud. Because it's an overspill camping park, the facilities are limited for us to use. After locating an appropriate spot we stuck on the label that came with the maps etc on to a plastic cone (or as it was described to Si, Witches Hat) to save our spot and went and looked about..
A wander around found us some shops, eating establishments, the pier and the port. There was a huge ship in as it's the only Port in the South East of Western Australia, it had a massive upgrade to the tune of $54 million which made it one of the deepest Ports in Southern Australia. Esperance also has a purpose built artificial reef, located off Bandy Creek Boat Harbour. It was built to attract fish, boost stocks and has created new fishing opportunities. It's a pretty little town, and as sleepy as me. Although that could have had something to do with the weather! Lots of old farm machinery was on display, some of it older than Noah! It was all in really good condition to be fair, and nice to see.
Weather has been very overcast and temperatures have been hovering around 16 degrees. Whilst out exploring the rain decided to finally show its face, and came down by the bucketful. The cloud cover increased and we could hardly see the port.
Heading back to the camp site we were tempted by the fish and chips from a little place called fish face. I think the temptation came because the name made me laugh. Unfortunately, we had food that needed eating in the van so we are going to save a fish supper for somewhere else . We will be having more than one!!
The site had filled up whilst we were out, although there were still plenty of spaces. The toilets and showers were immaculate, and only closed at 10am for cleaning. After making a dent in the food supplies and wine., and feeling a bit full we sat at the table on the van and planned the next part of the trip. Anyone would think I was driving on this trip I'm so tired! So before 2100hours my teeth were scrubbed and I was in bed.