Day 24 – 6th February 2018 – Norseman
Today it was 39 degrees and a storm was meant to arrive around 2pm. It is now early evening and still no rain. We decided to head into town and go for a swim today. They have a beautiful pool which was free! Such a great way to spend a hot day. Tomorrow we pack up and head for Esperance where we will be staying put for at least a week, so that will be nice to settle in somewhere for a little bit. We will hopefully get to do a bit of fishing there too although the weather might still be against us.
We also received the following two videos from the Media Master and Living Legend, Jake Cunningham.
Memory Cove, Lincoln National Park.
And the terrifying moment when Col flew the drone and it was caught by the wind and blown off the cliff at Point Labatt.
Day 25 – 7th February 2018 – Norseman to Esperance
So a small incident happened after I published the blog last night. I will share with you the story. A storm was scheduled to hit Norseman around 2pm but wasn’t meant to be anything too major according to the BOM site. It was early evening and we saw the grey clouds rolling in from a distance and I thought I would take the opportunity to have a quick shower before the storm hit. As you know, we use a double shower/toilet tent, and I nicked around to the tent and jumped in the shower. I had no sooner put conditioner in my hair when the shower tent promptly folded down on top of me. There is a window at the back of the tent to allow the shower hose through and my face and elbow were popping out of it each time the tent blew over. I was battling with the shower hose in one hand and holding the tent off my head with the other, quickly trying to wash out my conditioner. At that point I look down at the toilet side of the tent and see the first tent peg pop out and the corner start lifting, then the second tent peg went pop and that side of the tent was starting to get airborne. So there I am naked, holding onto the tent with all my might and screaming at the top of my voice for Col to come and save me Unfortunately he was running around like a mad man trying to put down the annex before it got ripped off and putting all the equipment away to protect it. Eventually he did hear my distressed cries and came to my aid. He held the tent while I very quickly pulled a short dress over my head – no time for undies! So off we dashed inside the van, but to my horror, the wind got hold of my dress and as I battled to try to keep it down, I did give anyone looking a bit of a show hahahaha. It would have been an hilarious scene to watch play out. Hopefully everyone else was so focussed on their own vans that they didn’t notice my showering or streaking incident. It was pretty funny.
Shortly after getting inside the van (and putting on underwear), I see that the tent has completely collapsed and was looking like it was going to completely blow away. I braved the wind and rain and managed to put the toilet on top of the tent to prevent it getting airborne. We did get a bit of video footage (not of my semi-naked run). Lessons learnt – never shower just before a storm hits if you are using a shower tent and always wear undies!
The storm passed pretty quickly and the rest of the night was uneventful.
Today we packed up camp at Norseman and headed for Esperance. The drive was really beautiful and both Col and I were appreciating the beautiful woodland, lakes and shrubs. So different to SA. The bark on the trees is quite orange and reminds me of the colour that everything is painted when the sun is setting. Will try and get a good photo of them tomorrow. We did a bit of shopping in town and then set up at a Freecamp about 65km East of Esperance. We plan to camp at one of 3 camps on the foreshore, but need to do a bit of a drive around tomorrow to see how busy they are and if we can get the van and boat in ok. So we have set up camp temporarily until we choose the best spot. We plan to stay in Esperance for about a week. It will be nice to stay put for a few days.
The weather is still all over the place – it was 39 degrees yesterday and 20 today! Hoping we can get some days somewhere in the middle.
Day 26 – 8th February 2018 – Condingup (Near Esperance)
This morning I headed over to the public toilet at the camp site that we are staying at, and it was fairly dark inside. There wasn’t a light switch. I did have a torch but it was playing up, bright one minute and not working the next. I gave a quick sweep around to check for spiders and anything scary, then decided it was safe and proceeded to use the toilet. My eyes quickly adjusted to the darkness and I noticed some movement out the corner of my eye. Fight or Flight mode kicks in pretty quickly, and you can become some sort of swift moving Ninja in those situations. I sorted myself out, ran out of the stall and shook my torch to get it working. I then scanned the floor of the toilet. There looking back at me was one of the most beautiful frogs I have ever seen, about the size of a fist. We looked it up and think it is a Western Green Tree Frog.
After the exciting start to the day, we then kicked back to an amazing breakfast. Bacon, eggs and baked beans with Frank’s Mum’s home made tomato sauce (the best!). And some photos of our Condingup Free Camp, which we have all to ourselves.
After breakfast we headed out for the day to scout for our new campsite. Please do yourself a favour and add this to your bucket list!! Cape Le Grand National Park. Seriously amazing and I am getting so excited to go and stay there for a week!!!! We checked out two camp spots, the first one is Cape Le Grand Beach. Set on the beach with great facilities, but the sites are small and there were only 12 sites which fill up very quickly. The advice is to get there between 8am and 9am to get a spot, as they don’t take bookings.
You can drive along the beach for 22km! Powder white sands and the ocean is a beautiful blue green colour. Takes your breath away.
I was sold on this campsite, even though they were small, but that was before I saw Lucky Bay, wow. There are 55 camp spots, again right near the beach and with great facilities. We have decided that this is where we will set up camp. When we went down onto the sand there was a Kangaroo and her joey and they were so very cute.
I have made it fairly clear to Col that I wouldn’t be disappointed if we just stay here for the rest of the year, hahaha. Only kidding – I know there is so much more beauty to see, but seriously, wouldn’t be disappointed.
You won’t often see photos of the grey stormy days as it is usually blue sky’s and sunshine. But I do like those grey skies, gives it a whole different feel.
There were so many beautiful flowers on our drive in. I thought at first that this was a feather, but it turns out it is a Purple Fringed Lilly.
In WA there are Banksias everywhere you look on the side of the road. Very beautiful.
Off to the Condingup Tavern tonight for dinner. A very cute pub with a lot of character. We popped in to take a look on our way home to make sure they were open and serving meals. Thought it would be good to support the community after staying in a great free camp. About to have a shower and get ready. Really hoping there are no surprise storms on the way!!! And also no frogs, even if they are beautiful.
Day 27 – 9th February 2018 – Condingup to Lucky Bay
We had been advised to get to Cape Le Grand National Park between 8am and 9am to secure a camp spot, as they fill up very quickly. We were up and about early to begin the camp pack up, and there were no eventful toilet stories to share today. It was about a 45 minute drive between our Condingup camp and Cape Le Grand National Park. We arrived about 8.20am and there were a few spots available.
Col and I decided to purchase a year pass for the WA National Parks, they are $92 each vehicle and include whatever you are towing. They only cover the park entry fee and not the camping fee. You can buy these monthly as well for around $48. As we plan to visit a few National Parks along the way, we thought this was the best option. Also, be aware that if you plan on fishing from a boat in WA you need to have a fishing license. They cost around $38 ea. You can do land based fishing without a license here.
Lucky Bay is very beautiful and the camp site here is great. They don’t have very good facilities at the moment but are in the process of building a new camp kitchen and Toilet/Shower block. Right now there are 2 male and 2 female hot showers for 55 campsites. They use solar power to heat the water so if it is a grey day – no hot water. The water also gets cold shortly after 4pm. So planning showers will be important. Luckily we do have the shower at the back of the van if we get caught out. Cold showers do not appeal to me at all!
We went for a bit of a drive around to check out the other bays – Hellfire Bay was beautiful (except for the Shark warning sign). Apparently this bay is good for catching Skippy and Herring.
We had a look at Rossiter Bay too as we had been told that was the place to go to catch Mulloway and Shark. I am not so keen on this prospect but Col is.
Lucky Bay sounds ok for Squid and Tommies.
The rest of the day we set up camp and did some housekeeping stuff. It felt good to put up the annex and the tent and know that you are can settle in for a week, without having to pack up and move on quickly. The only issue is there isn’t very good mobile coverage, so the blog updates might be few and far between this week.
The Kangaroos are very friendly and this one came over and tried to drink the dirty laundry water. We got him some fresh water in a bucket and he finished it all. Pretty cute.
Day 28 – 10th February 2018 – Lucky Bay
Today we went for a bit of a hike on the trail near the camp around the bluff nearby. Apparently Lucky Bay was named when Matthew Flinders pulled into the bay on the Endeavour whilst navigating the Australian Shore. He would have felt pretty lucky to pull into somewhere so beautiful.
We also went for a bit of a drive along the beach around the bay.
There is a little mobile Cafe that sets up on the beach called the Lucky Bean, so we grabbed some coffee and had a chat to the lovely lady that runs it. She said the Bay is called Lucky Bay because you are lucky if you can catch a fish She suggested trying Dunn’s Rock nearby.
We found a good spot on our hike to try squidding, so we collected our fishing equipment and set off for some rocks at the bottom of the bluff. There were some tricky sections even with your hands free, so I felt particularly challenged trying to carry a fishing rod and other bits and pieces. Lucky Col is like a mountain goat and kindly offered to carry some of my load too so I could navigate the rocks. I haven’t done any rock fishing before and found it a little intimidating. We were fishing on granite rocks, which Col explained can get extremely slippery when wet and you have to keep a close eye on any big waves. Very glad that Col knows what he is doing.
We fished with squid jags on our fishing rods initially, it took quite sometime before Col landed a big squid. The colour on them is so amazingly beautiful. We continued to fish for squid for a while but Col noticed that the Tommy’s were chasing the squid jags, so he switched to a metal lure and caught a couple of Tommy’s (known as herrings in WA). He caught many more but didn’t land them. He also caught a Snook which is an interesting looking fish – long and skinny, but Col doesn’t like eating them so he let him go.
We then navigated the journey back home and Col cleaned the squid on the beach. Not a bad backdrop!
We don’t have any mobile coverage at our camp and have to drive about 10 minutes to get to a spot we can get coverage, so we don’t have access to Netflix or anything online. Luckily my Mum gave me a present before I left of Season 1 and Season 2 of ‘Wanted’ with Rebecca Gibney. We watched the first two episodes last night and really enjoyed it – thanks Mum!!