Sitting in our cosy caravan at the beginning of the Nullarbor (the middle of absolutely nowhere for the unacquainted), we now finally have time sit down and write a little about the adventures we've had over the past 4 weeks.Let me begin at the beginning. Stef and I (Team Safari) left Perth on January 27th. It was an eventful first day as we set off for our first destination, Busselton, where we would meet up with Chris and Sharon and Da Boyz (stef's brothers family) and Sharon's brother and his familiy. Lesson one in caravaning became apparent immediately, never open the caravan's side windows as doing so can result in a lovely black eye for a girl approximately 169.3cm tall. Consequently, over the next two weeks Stef was the target of evil eyed stares while I received looks of sympathy. More than once I had to explain that I had walked into our caravan window. Somehow this only seemed to cement the idea in the onlookers head that I was indeed a defenceless woman subject to domestic abuse.
Busselton (January 27th - 31st)
We spent five blissful days in Busselton, taking in the sights with our fellow adventurers. We swam at the Busselton jetty where Chris (stef's brother) attempted to net some fish but only succeeded in catching the attention of multitudes of small children. We visited Hamlin Bay, the home of string rays that act like puppy dogs. We took an exciting 4WD eco tour through the forests and sand dunes of Pemberton that had the kids squealing in the back seat…and me slightly nauseous in the front.On the fourth day we chilled out on an amazing beach across the street from our caravan park. The last day came to quick and after a whistle stop tour of Cape Naturaliste we had to say goodbye to everyone. There were a few tears from Chris and Stef, and like always it was up to Sharon (my sister-in-law) and I to hold it all together as we pulled Chris and Stef apart weeping like small children.
Denmark (February 1st - 5th)
On our way down to Denmark, we stopped in at Dano's Farm (a friend of ours). It was the first true test of our caravan as we ventured into the bumpy paddock towards the trees at the edge of the property…it all went well and we lived happily amongst the karri and peppermint trees like hippies for 2 days. It was during this time that we became one with nature. I mean truly connected, we took that giant leap that is digging a hole and then making small brown offering…yes you get my drift. It was after one of these offerings that Stef learned to never cover his small brown friend using his Ugg boat as the offering tried to escape from the afore mentioned hole onto his boat…lovely.
Then it was speedily on to Denmark. We stayed a couple of days at a lovely caravan park recommended to us by our good friend Kath. In the morning we went body surfing at ocean beach until we could no longer feel our toes, then after a hot shower, went snorkelling at Greens Pool until we were literally blue with cold. The near hypothermic experience was worth it though as the snorkelling was immense and we got to warm up with a couple wine tastings at the local vineyards nearby. Quicker than we would have like we then set off for Esperance…
Esperance (February 6th - 19th)
Finally we arrived in Esperance. A small, almost unimpressive town at first glance, but I had been promised something special by a certain silver hair drafty so I wasn't worried by first impressions…and as it turned out we were not disappointed. The gleaming white sand beaches and the crystal clear turquoise blue bays were exactly what our souls needed. I'm now slightly worried that we've seen the best of Australia first and nothing else will measure up! If you are ever fortunate enough to make it to Esperance you should take the drive from Wylie Bay to Cape Le Grande, scuba dive at Lucky Bay, swim with dolphins and sting rays at Victoria Bay, and if you have the good fortune to meet a local who will tell you where the secret spot for Bream fishing is (I can't tell you because it's not my secret to tell), you should do that too. Those are the places that spring to mind first but are only the tip of the iceberg of what Esperance has to offer. Truly we did not want to leave.
In Esperance we met up with friends, Shaheer, Eliza and shadow the dog (and Jim for a couple of days), and they joined us on our adventures. It wouldn't have been nearly as much fun without them, and definitely not as good eating as Shaheer tutored stef in the fine art of fishing (salmon, bream, flathead, and herring)…and leaving bait around the car. It was sad to leave them, however after our truly unlucky last day which saw cars careening two metres in the air, roof racks go flying, the demise of one kangaroo by land rover, a smashed window and dented door, and finally, finally, a broken windshield wiper, it was time to say goodbye before someone actually got hurt! It's not nearly as bad as it sounds but it was now time to go.
So here we are on the road again…tomorrow we have about seven hundred kilometres to drive…but at least we don't have to go to work!
P.S. We have put some photos of our trips to Busselton, Denmark, and Esperance on our blog as well, hopefully you'll get a sense of what we've seen thus far on our travels.
Stef and Sue (Team Safari - yes I know it's gay but apparently it's now our relationship mission statement…if you can have such a thing!)