And the Clock Struck Ten

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December 23rd 2014
Published: December 23rd 2014
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We woke to a fairly decent morning on a campsite in Esperance, at least it wasn’t raining.

Even though we don’t like caravan parks, our main goal was to charge all our batteries, that is the two deep cycle batteries that power the freezer in our truck and also the two deep cycle batteries in Roobie as we need plenty of battery power whilst we are camped at Cape Arid.

We also needed to top the water tanks up on Roobie, which is 90 litres for showers and general use hot water and 90 litres for drinking.

As usual I was up early and strangely enough Caroline put in an early appearance at 6.00 am, our plan today was to get our last few chores done in Esperance and get away as soon as possible as we were on a mission.

Our mission that we boldly accepted was to get to Esperance, refuel, top our groceries up with fresh vegetables, fruit and anything else that we had forgotten and get to Cape Arid roughly 150K’s East of Esperance to Bagsy the camping spots before the Christmas rush, this campsite is allocated on a first come first serve
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Pink Maxx Trax on the top of a 4 wheel drive at Macca's Shouldn't be allowed
basis, so if they are all gone by the time you get there then its tough luck.

Christmas in Australia is the main holiday period as its right in the middle of summer, the kids are on their long summer holidays and this is the time when families do that long trip.

So with the Christmas season upon us, our friends Andy and Karen invited us to gate crash their Christmas for the second year in a row and we have only known them just over 12 months. They had decided on Cape Arid and that sounded like a good enough destination for us, no Telstra network, away from the City and the normal pressures of life, also a place we have not been to before.

The benefit for us was that we could leave on Friday 19th December but Andy and Karen could not leave until Karen due to work commitments until Tuesday 23rd, we had no problem with this as we just wanted to get away and get familiar with our new trailer.

Our journey to Cape Arid was roughly 900K’s and rests South East from Perth, we took the long way round as
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My Honda Pit Girl.
we needed to pick up our mail in Mandurah. Andy & Karen had been here before and furnished us with 3 photographs, a site number and a brief description of the camp sites that they wanted us to secure, what they considered the best of the bunch.

So back to the Esperance bit, we had looked online and seen that Woolworths were not open until 10.00am but Bunnings (Hardware store) was open at 7.00 am.

Now when Gypsy went, some bits and pieces went with her, which we completely forgot about namely things like a tap adaptors for the hose and the like.

When I came to top the water tanks up this morning from the tap that was provided , I had a little swear to myself as I realised that we did not have these tap connectors with us which meant we would have to go out and source some before the tanks stood a chance of being filled.

Still, I love Bunnings, we trawled around and picked up this and that which we thought we may need, then off the MacDonald’s for Breakfast and Coffee.

It was about 9.50 am when we
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Walking to the beach at Cape Arid
were outside Woolworths and as soon as the clock struck 10 the shutters went up and I swear to god it was like a plague of locusts descending on to the produce, it was carnage!! By the time we got to the bread aisle, it was nearly all gone.

With Woolworths finished that last but one thing to do was top up the diesel tanks, they were not that empty but we always fill them at every opportunity, because you never know.

Back at the camp site, we packed Roobie away, we had a blog all ready to be published and I wanted it published before we left (Flash and Dash) so once that was uploaded, we hooked up and got on our way.

As we had good internet connection, Caroline had received a couple of photo’s of Gypsy away with her new owners down on the Murray River, it was nice to see Gypsy with her new owners having some fun.

Our journey was only two hours from Esperance to Cape Arid, the weather was good and we were excited to be on our way again, our only anxiety was if we got there and
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This way to the beach
the sites were gone, what would we do?

We pulled into the registration booth at 1.06pm; although there is a ranger station nearby, you do need to self-register and purchase a National Parks Day Pass for $12.00, if you are camping then the camp hosts will come round and collect your fees at $10.00 per person per night. The National Parks Day Pass will then last for the duration of your camping but you still have to make sure it is displayed.

Driving around the outer track we were amazed how few campers were here, a couple of trailers and caravans, a couple of pre-bagsied sites (not a single person in site, but a tag on the site number and sometimes just a groundsheet held down with rocks. Our drive round though revealed that most sites were vacant.

We pulled up and scoped out the illusive site 5 for Andy and Karen double checked the photo’s and bingo it was ours, we were relieved to find that it was empty as were the sites adjacent to number 5 which meant that we could camp next to each other. Although the sites are secluded with the natural bush
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Panaorama of Cape Arid
providing segregation for us and plenty of space for the wildlife, it means that we both still get some privacy and not feel like we are camping on top of each other for the duration.

As we had had plenty of space in our truck we had brought some of Andy and Karen’s stuff with us namely a couple of large gas bottles, a Weber BBQ, well what else would we be doing our Christmas lunch on, and a tent as Karen was binging a friend with her who I believe lives in Canberra. The plan for us was to pitch the tent and thus commandeer the spot.

Once the tent was up, which was an experience in its self as the strong sea breeze made that job a challenge, we set about setting up our home for the next couple of weeks and it didn’t take long to do so.

There were a few things that we wanted to see why they were not working, one being the diesel cook top, yep that is correct the inside hob is powered by diesel and we could not get it to work, so with time on our side we eventually got to grips with things.

Like we had said, we have no phone or internet down at Cape Arid, but we do have HF radio, which I was looking forward to using, it’s all dependant on the atmospheric conditions, but does have a range of around 4,000 Kilometres, I had radioed up the base stations at Meekathara and Wiluna to log our position and also spoken to Andy over HF whilst he was still back in Perth.

It was really great to be here, no work for two weeks, our new trailer to play with and in great company when they finally get here. Now we can hit the “relax” button.

Cape Arid is a coastal region down on the Southern Ocean, Perth is also coastal and sits on the Indian Ocean, I wonder where the datum line is where the two oceans collide. Caroline wonders if the line would be somewhere around Augusta which is in the bottom left hand corner of W.A around Cape Leeuwin.

Caroline is hoping to get some good wildlife pictures, especially of Kangaroo’s on the beach (that is her target for this trip, there is a picture of a kangaroo on a beach on the Lonely Planet guide that we had when we had our first trip to Australia and Caroline is disappointed that she has never seen a Kangaroo on the beach), Cape Arid is a 280,000 hectare wilderness, renounced for its stunning beaches, clear blue sea’s (which is full of sharks) and rocky headlands, Caroline said about bringing the snorkel and flippers and I said “no way baby” there is absolutely no chance of me or you going in to the sea.

Just before dinner, Caroline took a walk down to the beach, it was very overcast and quite cool, as expected, whilst we ate our dinner, the heavens opened and graced us with more rain (good because it does help to reduce the fire risk). As it was cold and inclement outside, we chose a film to watch before bedtime, I think we were both virtually nodding off before the end.

Lights out, sleep came easy we were both feeling exhausted and perhaps as the relax button had been depressed it was a factor in aiding a restful sleep.


24th December 2014

Cape Leeuwin is the site of the meeting of the Southern and Indian Oceans. We were there and went up in the lighthouse. Quite a sight! If you have no internet, you won't get this for two weeks. So Merry Christmas and the best for 2015, Andy and Caroline. ENJOY

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