29/11/14. Cape Le Grand sightseeing.
We decided to stay another night in Esperance and today we are going for a scenic drive of the Cape Le Grand National Park. Everyone tells us we must see Lucky Bay, the whitest sand in the world. So that's where we are aiming for.
We are going to do this with just a mud map of the area given to us by the info centre when we first got into town. . As we drove out there we see a lot of what appears to be marsh land mixed in with already harvested crops which look to have been quite bumper if the number of rolled bales are anything to go by, and a few of what looks to be Hereford and Angus beef properties, one of which had an abundance of black bulls - there must have been a dozen scattered across one paddock and there were some big boys amongst them.
Beryl Bilby, who accompanies us on out journeys, did the navigation for us and Dora The Explora had a day off. We left Plukka Duck at camp, he's too much trouble. (I think he's been doing the deed with my red hat with the purple feather boa around it as there's purple feathers all over the van all the time.Cant trust that Pluckka. )
Beryl has been accompanying us on our adventures since I paid her ransom and liberated her from a life of slavery in the Bilby Research and Reproduction Center shop in Charleville on our jaunt in a borrowed campervan to Longreach in the latter part of 2008.
The roads are all very good in this area which is a credit to the WA Roads, considering how much marsh land and tidal marsh/swamp there is around here. Roads are fairly good in Victoria and South Australia too. How does NSW get it so wrong?
The further we got out towards the NP there were huge plantations of eucalyptus trees, all neatly planted in rows, with each side of the road in various stages of maturity from rather tall semi mature to youngsters of about 3 metres. A sight we had never seen before and a nice change from the forests of pine trees grown else where. However, on doing a little research this evening on the Internet, I find out that most of these plantations were planted in the 70s when it was one of those big investment schemes that come along every once in a while, like deer farms, emu farms and spaghetti farms, and now that they are harvesting them, they are finding they are only just cutting even for all the work that has gone into them over the years. And it's all going to pulp! The big money they were expecting are not happening and most of it is going to India. The cleared land will be going back to traditional farming.
Along the way there were some very interesting outcrops of rocks. Don't you think this this one looks like a hawks head? These huge rocks and piles of big rocks would be a climbers paradise. We saw cars parked at the base of one but couldn't spot the climbers.
Our favorite bay of the day was Helfire Bay. A short easy walk down from the car park and this is what greeted out senses. We went for a walk along this beach. I found walking there to be quite easy as my short leg was on the rise of the beach, And the wet sand rather solid, but coming back was a bit of a challenge. The sand is very white and the water very turquoise and with the sparely vegetated rock headlands looming up as a backdrop it's all quite mind numbingly beautiful.
And a bit chilly for Rod who threw his daggy old jumper in at the last minute.
And there's a lovely area undercover with bbqs supplied for day trippers just at the bottom of these steps but also accessible for wheelchairs from a bus carpark.
Along the way we saw this. It's called Frenchman's Peak and that white looking bit near the top is actually a bit of sky showing thru what turned out to be a huge arch at the top, (but that photo didn't turn out. Drive by touristing again). The French who landed in the area too late must have been very pissed off to have missed out on claiming all this. But there are quite a few places named to remind everyone just how close we came to being a French nation.
With Beryl doing the navigating, we head on over to Lucky Bay, touted to be 'officially' the whitest sand in the world. Hmmm.
Once again an easy walk from the car park and lo and behold, the very welcome sight of a transportable cafe called The Lucky Bean, staffed by the lovely Robyn and her husband, 'The Master Chef'.
Along with resident kangaroos who didn't stir until they smelt the toasted sandwiches cooking and then came over for a feed.
We had a very nice cup of coffee and a chat with Robyn who gave us a bit of a background on the local Noonga People and how she and hubby set up the cafe. Very enterprising, hard working people . . . . .
. . . . if you can believe it's hard work with this amazing view.
We lingered a while, chatting to a couple from Canberra of comparable age to ourselves, and we tended to agree with them that perhaps Jervis Bay was a wee patch ahead of Lucky Bay, but all of us had only ever seen it on a sunny day whereas it's quite overcast in WA today. The Dolphins that frequent this bay that we had heard about were no where to be seen.
Then we headed back to Esperance for a late chicken lunch.
After lunch and a nap, we went into town again to get a photograph of a fountain in the middle of a round-about. It's seals and seagulls. Looks lovely in the sun shine. Wasn't obviously when I took this.
We saw cars doing laps while people took photos. That's the Pier Hotel in the background. There's a lot of work going on in refurbishing the foreshore. It's going to be a wonderful community area when it's finished.
Then a drive a little bit further along the waterfront past the yacht club to have a look at the clock we have heard chiming while we have been here. Our caravan park is about a block away across the road from this.
It looks to be reasonably new. And Very pretty.
Then it was up Wireless Hill to the Rotary Lookout. That pointed peak in the distance, just right of the little sail boat is Frenchman's Peak which we had been too earlier in the day.
Tomorrow we are moving on. We plan to stay tomorrow night in Jerramungup caravan park, but knowing us, . . . . that could change. We are heading to Albany where we plan to stay 4-5 nights. We will pack up in the morning and head out about 8-9 am.