Day 47 – Esperance to Orleans Bay

Another windy night, so we took the awning down before we went to bed – it is definitely more stable with the legs out and pegged into the ground, however we still didn’t like the sound of the wind whistling around. Lach is storming through his 8th book, which I recommended to him as I just finished it “The Light between Oceans”, and I am struggling to get into my 5th book, although I will keep at it, as I am sure it will get easier “All that man is” – it was shortlisted for the Booker Prize this year.

When we got home from dinner last night the girls wanted to continue their colouring in, and so left it all out on the kitchen table to finish in the morning. Trixie got hold of the crayons and did some drawing herself overnight and when the girls saw him they were so excited (it did however take them a few minutes to see him this morning). The first thing I recall Ava asking this morning was “How many sleeps until xmas?” followed by “how many nights are we staying at the next caravan park?”

Knowing that we are spending Christmas day at the next camp site is exciting and that we are also there for 5 nights. So we set off from Esperance at 830am ready for a very short drive – our shortest yet (only 100km). The drive had all the promise of a short hop with not even any snacks or wee stops, however what we didn’t anticipate were all the questions from Ava about God and whether they are alive, dead, how they created things in nature? We answered as many as we could without getting into deeper questioning (we know how her brain works!), then we explained that when she starts at Arden she will have lots of lessons and that Christian Studies will be one of them taken by Mr Watkins (the headmaster) and she can ask him all of those really good questions, as we don’t want to give her the wrong answers. Audrey then joined the conversation and asked whether God created yoghurt, and I explained that God created cows, which produce milk which makes yoghurt. The two of them then proceed to list all sorts of things to ask whether God created them or whether ‘man’ made them out of stuff which God created. The end of the list was strawberries, and then that linked into Strawberry Jam and Ava changed the subject to my Strawberry Jam and that I should make it and sell it, as its delicious, as well as my Grapefruit, Lemon and Lime Marmalade. She has already put in her list of stuff I need to make when we get back to Beecroft.

We arrived at The Duke of Orleans Caravan Park, locally known at ‘The Duke’, at 930am, so I parked as close to the tree as I could (didn’t hit it this time – before anyone has any funny comments!) to give us as much ‘play’ area as possible. Later on whilst wondering around in the park, we were talking to a family who are close to us, and apparently when i was parking the hubbie commented that I must be a truckie as i parked so well first time, then I got out of the car, and both husband and wife agreed that I wasn’t a truckie. The sites are really large and shaded and the caravan park was already busy with people. We unhitched and then piled back in the car to go and see the famous Lucky Bay. We did a dirt short cut track to get there (about 45mins) and was worth every minute of back tracking we did from this mornings route to get there. We pay our National Park entry of $12 and drive towards the bay. Ava sees a mountain peak out of the window and asks whether it was the same one we saw yesterday when we were in the captains deck? I suspected not, but looked in Hema to see what the name of it was, and sure enough Miss Ava was correct – Frenchmans Peak – very distinctive as the captain said “a lot of men like looking at that peak” and preceded to wink at me (it looks like a woman’s boob and nipple). We turned off the road to follow the sign to Lucky Bay, and drive past the camp ground (which was FULL) – makes me wonder how early people had to get there to get their spots, as its free camping and so its 1st in best dressed. We parked in the car park, along with about another 20 cars (I still find it funny seeing so many people around – we are going to have a shock getting back/closer to civilisation in a couple of weeks), and immediately saw a kangaroo just wondering around the car park, then we walked down to the beach and sure enough the sand is so white and fine, it immediately squeaks underfoot, you don’t even need to wiggle your toes to try and make it squeak. We set up our mat and the wind was blowing onshore so wasn’t the most comfortable of beach sessions, but we stayed an hour and the girls played whilst we watched people take photos of themselves as well as a kite surfer making his way back and forth. There is even a cafe cart on the beach serving coffee, snacks and sandwiches. We didn’t need anything and as Lach commented they were Sydney prices, but a pretty cool location. As we were about to leave we saw the token Kangaroo on the beach who was oblivious to cars and people wondering past.

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Lucky Bay

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Lucky Bay

We headed back home so that we could have some lunch, en route we popped into Hellfire Bay to see the beach there – another stunning beach which was more protected from the winds.

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Hellfire Bay

The local beach at the caravan park, Wharton Beach, was meant to be sheltered and easy for beach driving (our first ever experience) so we headed there after lunch to suss it out as well as Little Wharton Beach (which was full of cars and some more serious sand driving required), as one of these beaches are likely to be our relaxing spot for the next 4 days (weather permitting – forecast is thunderstorms and hot). We drove onto the beach along with the other beach goers (no car parks here) and pulled up and set up the beach mat right next to the car – was an odd feeling having the car right next to us and not having to lug bags and buckets and spades to get to the beach. Whilst the girls approached another couple of children asking them to play, I was trying to work out the best way to describe the sand. Its like really compact snow, that squeaks underfoot or when you dig it, but at the same time melts upon touch. The sand on the tyres looked like snow. We bumped into the same family from the caravan park and had a chat to them (I assumed the majority of people on the beach, of which there were about 10 cars, were from the caravan park) whilst the children all played together, talking about sand driving and what pressures for the tyres – we seem to be lucky that around here the majority of the beaches are hard with only some soft sand getting on/off the beaches. He did mention one which was really soft for 20m so letting tyres down for that distance is a pain, but worth it so you don’t get bogged. We left the beach at 4pm all in agreement that we will be so happy to spend the next few days on this beach. Lach was spying the fisherman on the rocks on the southern end of the beach, so he will be happy having a fish at the same beach too. The wind has picked up again, but this beach is protected so we should be fine as long as the sun is out – we can use the car as a wind shield! To be honest, Lucky Bay was stunning,  but I think that Wharton Beach is just as spectacular and less touristy….

We ate a delicious dinner of burgers and sweet potato chips cooked by Lach, followed by a walk down to the beach immediately next to us ~200m from our caravan. We have been told that this beach can be protected however in the afternoon the fisherman come in and ‘Fins’ can be seen swimming around, so best not to swim there.

I am sure that the next 4 days the photos will all be similar and the blogs will be based on beach activities – but what more could we ask for? SO HAPPY…

We may struggle with reception for the next few days, there is hardly any signal here, so the blog may be just words for a few days, as photos tend to be the issue. Fingers crossed I can post this tonight…

2 responses to “Day 47 – Esperance to Orleans Bay

  1. All sounds so wonderful. That Trixie certainly has been busy for all of December and will really need a rest soon, we will miss Trixie when he disappears and returns next December.
    Just love what we always called 40 questions.. Should we bring a Bible with us to help answer the questions?
    The beaches and surroundings sound so beautiful looking forward to the photos. Do hope we can make contact on Christmas Day.
    Off for our last day of work finishing a little early, thank goodness as we have a bit to do,yet and need to,visit Gran with all the gifts I have bought and wrapped for staff together with the usual of things she has remembered that she needs.
    Quite an overcast day here and a little cooler not by English standards but very pleasant.
    Hope you have a beautiful beach day and some good fishing and please be aware of the “fins”, I presume that is sharks.
    Lynne cannot believe all the entertaining you are doing, we are still plodding along getting organised for,Christmas Eve when it will all start,when Al, Marjo, Marie Paulle and of course,dear little,Sacha arrive to,stay.
    Enjoy your day, be safe.
    Love you all and certainly would not describe,Caroline as a “Truckie” even though her skills of driving are excellent.
    MRN xxx

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  2. A proper beach holiday for a few days. Sunbathing included no doubt….
    So Chicky you have a new name: “truckie chick”!!! Not sure I can picture that but you have always been a good driver.
    I bet Trixie’s colouring is not as good as Ava and Audrey’s as I was very impressed with theirs.
    So this year are you planning a true Aussie Christmas with a BBQ on the beach? (Nanna & Grandpa – this is what the Brits think of if you mention Christmas dinner in Australia – the first question is – “did you spend it on the beach and have a BBQ?”
    Understand about the photos so you will need to be very discerning when you can post them, but we shall look forward to them and enjoy them all the more when they do arrive.
    More cooking to get on with as another dinner party this evening – only 9 tonight – phew!!!

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