HD Version will be there later today… hope you enjoy…
Once more we experience a gorgeous hospitality! John and Steph invited us to stay over the weekend or even longer… We had to order a spare part for our GPS from Hong Kong. Unfortunately the Chinese were celebrating their Spring Festival and closed all their businesses for the time being. Finally we did an express order and we still wait for its arrival.
In between we explored the closer surroundings on our own: the Great Ocean Drive, the Cape Arid National Park, the Cape Le Grand National Park, the Wetlands… Beautiful places, endless white beaches, turquoise bays, lovely rock formations. For sure it is not a place where you get bored. We learn a fair bit about kangaroo breeding. Steph adopted two roo babies who need care taking and we can tell you they are really funny and just lovely to watch hanging in their pouches or hopping around in the garden and exploring everything. We attended a Harbor bus tour where we learned a lot about the history of Esperance and the importance of their harbor. As well John showed us the fire station with their entire equipment and we met many of John’s mates having barbecue together. Romy could manage to bring her bus “Gigi” alive again with the support of John and Leithen. As well she passed her English test and so we had enough reasons to celebrate and Steph organized a big fondue evening. Kerstin is cooking and baking bread nearly every day. We always enjoy chatting and eating together in the evening. One afternoon John took us out to the shooting range and we could practice shooting under his supervision – a great experience! John is attending a shooting competition in Roturua, New Zealand. He left already and Steph will follow him in a few days to enjoy their holidays together over there. We have to admit we are a little bit jealous. We would love to have a visit to New Zealand and see all our friends again! Hopefully one day; not for now…
Thanks to Steph, John, Romy, Leiten… and the roos we enjoy our stay in Esperance to the max! But Tasmania is waiting for us and we hope to receive our spare part on Monday and we can go back on the road again…
Our farm family prepared us a lovely good-bye dinner and we spent a last festive evening together. The last day packing was a real challenge. We had to remember where to store all the bits and pieces again… and of course we had little added things which came along during our 3 ½ month stay. It was time to say “goodbye” to our farm life; to all friends, to the Roo-baby, to our caravan. Shortly we thought about tossing it – but only shortly ;-) We harvested our last watermelon and finally we made it – back on the road loaded like never before.
Off we went, along the coast, direction south… We had gusty strong winds and when we reached the Indian Ocean Drive it was hard work not to be pushed off the road. The scenery was great. A windy narrow road was leading through the dunes along the ocean. But the sand was blown all over and in the end we decided to skip the last part. We went back to the Highway and decided to visit Brice who stayed close to Perth. We met Brice quite a while ago in Indonesia, Flores, when he just came over with his Landrover from Australia. Now he was back in Australia after he made it until Thailand where he left his car. He stays with his girlfriend at Jen`s place, a mother with twins. Jen was travelling herself half of her life… on a push bike and on a motorcycle and she was welcoming us warmly. When we arrived they were just preparing a little party. We built up our tent in her garden and we were enjoying a lovely evening. We stayed 3 days exchanging our stories and we were helping in the garden and the house.
We continued south, direction Margaret River. The landscape was changing, everything turned greener, bigger trees and even forests appeared. The rivers were full of water and we could see everywhere vineyards full of grapes. And a lovely road was winding through this scenery. We knew that this region is touristic and we prepared ourselves mentally. We always found a remote and calm place to stay and we were touring around at daytime: exploring the capes, the beaches, the cliffs, petting the manta rays and riding nice shady roads with turn after turn. Around Pemberton and Walpole we discovered the forests with its giant trees. We climbed up the Diamond Tree to the top: 52 meter. It was a breathtaking feeling climbing up the simple steel polls and in the end, the last 20 meters it went vertical up to the top. Not everyone’s pleasure but we adored it and the view from up there was just breath-taking. You feel like in a fairytale walking among these giant trees and imagine that they will start to talk to you like the Ents in Lord of the Ring. When we did the tree top walk which is 40 meter above the ground we were nearly alone.
A bit further along the coast we found a nice camp spot at the beach, Parry Beach. The camp is owned by the shire and run voluntary by various people. You pay only 5 bucks per person and you have water, hot shower and all over lovely camp neighbors. We met Dave and his wife Wendy. Dave was travelling himself on a bike many times and he was serving everyone without a fridge or without fishing luck with fresh fish. Every day we received fresh Herring filets for our dinner and the evening we spent at the fireplace together having some vine and beers.
In this region the beaches are becoming finer and whiter. The next bay, called green pool with the elephant rocks was recommended by everyone we met. We arrived early morning and had the endless white beach just for the two of us – like a paradise. We forgot the water in the side bag of the bike and Kerstin walked back to the parking square. While visiting the toilet she suddenly heard a loud crash and knew immediately: this is our bike!!! Running out she saw the bike lying on the ground. About 5 meter far a car was standing with the back to it. A young woman got out of it smiling at Kerstin. Absolutely disbelieving Kerstin was looking at her at the car the big empty parking area at our bike on the ground and asking her: what happened? Did you REALLY run over it??? Still smiling she was just affirming… The fuel was running out and the helmets which we locked at the steering bar crashed on the ground. Luckily there was coming a car with a strong man who could give Kerstin a helping hand to lift the bike back on the stand. The panniers were bended and the panniers holder was bended and broken. This was the damage we could see immediately. Kerstin was running to get Sascha from the beach. The young woman is a single mother of 4 young kids and she did not have clue about her insurance. She told us she has a friend in Albany, a panel beater, who could fix our panniers holder. And about the helmets? … We did not have receipts with us, it would probably a big hassle and would take a long time to clarify with the insurance… so what?! Nobody was hurt and the bike is still driving! We will have to ask Schuberth once again if they don´t want to help us ;)
The next day we gave the Green Pool a second chance and we really had a hassle-free day climbing the rocks, snorkeling in the turquoise sea and lying in the fine white sand.
On the way to Esperance we found a beautiful bay where we unpacked the “good bye fish filet” of Dave for dinner – and he added even a lemon to make it perfect! “Thanks for all the fish mate!” So we really enjoyed cooking our fish sitting on a snow-white beach and watching the sunset over the sea. We stayed for two days fishing from the rocks and walking along the endless beach. It even sounds like snow. If you ever want to explain to an Aussi how snow is like, send him there and tell them: it is like this sand beach, only imagine it is a bit colder ;-)
In Esperance we were invited from John who owns an AT as well and there are only about 25 in whole Australia registered. When we arrived they were out for the weekend, but Roomy, a girl from Germany who stays with them more than a year already, was home and welcomed us. She and her boyfriend Leiten cooked lunch and we looked at our room. WOW such a luxury and sweet welcome. John and Steph prepared the room with a welcoming card, sweets, towels… and the lovely offer to feel like home! So sweet!!! We ordered a new rear tire to their address which just arrived. These days Sascha is doing oil change and fitting a used tire from John to the bike. The plan is to carry the new one until we passed the Nullarbor or even until Melbourne. So we will be even more loaded when we leave from here, but otherwise it would be just a waste of the new tire. The Nullabor is a more or less straight road for 1000km, including the longest absolute straight road for 145km. But John gave us already lots of waypoints how we should go. We will not take the “usual” straight road, we will take the tracks beside it and explore the area. We heard from some locals that this is well worth it. Sascha is spending the most of the day in the garage of John. It is a fully equipped workshop with all the tools you can imagine. A little paradise ;-)