Southern Coast Day 184 - Esperance to Adelaide

Saturday, Jan 23, 1999 at 01:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

This morning we were packed up and ready to leave early to give us plenty of exploring time through the National Parks of Cape Le Grand and Cape Arid. We've certainly got our monies worth with our Annual WA Parks Pass that enables us to enter any national park without paying the daily rate. We only have to pay for camping, and usually we get away with that because we select the most out-of -the-way campsites accessible by 4WD. It seems to deter the ranger. We're not doing anything underhand, because there is no other way of paying other than cash to the ranger (if/when he comes to collect).

We found a beautiful camp site at Cape Le Grand beach but every site was occupied - another reason why we've been avoiding the 2WD accessible locations. A bitumen road takes you all around the coastline of Cape Le Grand giving beautiful views of more pretty ocean and wonderful rocks and islands. There are many long bushwalks but most are one-way coastal treks that end up at the next lookout, so we didn't do any of the walks here.

Having made such an early start today we were able to move on towards Cape Arid National Park. Halfway between the two National Parks we noticed a 4WD track to a free camp site on the Duke of Orleans Bay (Alexander Road). It wasn't a difficult track at all and the Bay looked good for windsurfing. Unfortunately, there were many people here also but the camping areas were tucked away behind the sand dunes, each one being a bay marked off with plenty of bushland in between. As we arrived we heard over the UHF radio that someone had just rolled their 4WD on the beach and was bleeding pretty badly from his arm. By the time we got there the person had been wisked off to Esperance, his wrecked vehicle left soaking in pools of blood on the beach. It didn't look good. He had apparently been a young guy, driving too fast along the beach and hit a dip that flipped the vehicle 180 degrees so it landed back on it's wheels. The car was a right-off.

We kept to ourselves and after exploring the bay went back to our campsite to prepare dinner. We had some strange visitors asking to borrow a screwdriver. The guy looked about 50 years old but had the most bizarre appearance. He wore purple wrap around sunglasses with yellow tinted lenses and had amazingly long grey dreadlocks that reached his bottom. Meanwhile, his "wife", who was in her 40s, was cross-legged on our tarpaulin as she busily dismantled their portable stereo with our screwdriver. Once she'd repaired that and explained their nomadic existance I asked about the hair. He'd just had it cut that day because it kept dragging in his bleep and they'd finally figured out why the flies always followed him about!! I told you they were bizarre! We were invited to their 'place' for drinks but declined, opting to cook a slow casserole.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
Always working not enough travelling!
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