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Published: April 23rd 2014
Saturday 19th April - arrived at Kalgoorlie yesterday afternoon only to find the town deserted as it's a Good Friday and everybody heads south to the beaches. We had hoped to go gold prospecting with the same company that took us on the Super Pit tour in 2009. Unfortunately they no longer do the fossicking (prospecting) trip so we had a nice lie-in and hit the road for Esperance. The roads were pretty isolated with even the road trains on holiday. The scenery began to change with the appearance of gum trees and more startlingly the appearance of sheep and agriculture. These were the first sheep we've seen for about 10 days - it made us think what a mark of civilisation agriculture is - it's the impact of man on an otherwise barren landscape. Lyn decided that Woolly & Marvin wouldn't like it in Western Australia!!!! As everyone had headed for the beaches for the Easter break we thought we'd better phone ahead to book a site for the night - just as well as there was 'no room at the inn' apart from an overflow field - again we got the last pitch available!!!!
Tony's friendly fishermen
Breakfasting on yesterday's catch
- Typical Easter the weather began to change and there were a lot of people milling around wondering what to do as it was too cold to sit on the beach. Took the Great Ocean Drive west out of Esperance past white sandy beaches - all deserted. Took a little road to Monjurup Lake Nature Reserve - what a little oasis with beautiful trees and lots of different birds. Next to it was a wild flower park (some 50 acres) with only us and 2 Emus. Quick lunch then off to find our freedom camp for the night - this should be easy as there were 4 campsites right by the edge of the sea along a 51km gravel road! Mungalup Bay was our first choice (a further 10km of gravel) - bugger it was full of Aussies. On to the next one, Starvation Bay, a further 37km of gravel, one space left and surrounded by Aussie fishermen, some with families - ideal for the night. Again wonderful white sandy beach with rocky ledges - as we walked along the beach we met a family who just had a swim who commented "bloody freezing mate".
Children's playground at Hopetoun
The warning sign about the snakes is a bit worrying!!
- Lyn up early and off along the beach with camera and binocs whilst Tony chatted to a group of Aussie fishermen breakfasting on yesterday's catch. We left with only another 30 or 40km of gravel road to contend with. These were on a parr with the Karijini gravel and shook a few more bits off the campervan - no wonder we didn't see any other vehicles although we did see some eagles. Made it to Hopetoun with most of the van intact and stopped for coffee and a browse round the art gallery. There was also a lovely children's playground but was a bit alarmed to see the notice warning of snakes!! Headed for Albany our destination for the night - clouds now beginning to break up so hopefully a sunny day tomorrow.
Wednesday 23rd - headed for Katanning, second biggest stock sale yard(sheep) in WA, got there by 8.30am(!) for the start if the sale. Short week with Easter and Anzac Day, no ships in for export to the Middle East so prices were down and the sale was over by 11.30. Each pen of sheep took about 30 secs to sell (so we kept
our hands by our side!!!) Really interesting to compare with markets in the UK - agriculture must be thriving in spite of 6 months drought because they are building a new super stock yard (the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere). Everyone really friendly and helpful. Have sent Ian & Al an email with the prices!!!! Sending this from Bridgetown, really pretty heritage town on our way to Margaret River and the wineries!
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