Let’s just finish this now shall we?
We arrived in Esperance after a short trip in the car, we’d already done most of the driving the day before so we only had about a 3 hour drive before we hit Esperance. On the way there we had a quick conversation with Waynes parents who were due to meet us in Esperance in a few days time. They asked us if we wanted to meet them in Hopetoun but we said no as it was a further 300km’s (in the the other direction) and we left it at that. However, the kids overheard the conversation and thought it would be nice if we just turned up and surprised Nanna and Poppy. After a quick re think we decided why not? There’s not too many surprises to be had in life, so this is something that we’d all get a kick out of. We did a big shop in Esperance, changed clothes and then pushed on for another 3 hours.
We knew the name of the caravan park where they were staying and as we drove down to reception Wayne tried to keep the car hidden. I asked reception to take us there the back way so they couldn’t see us coming. It was so lovely. They were still setting up the van when we arrived, and I jumped out the car with the kids and yelled out Oi.. you know when your taken aback and it takes a while for the recognition to come ? That’s what it was like. Doreen (Waynes mum) was so thrilled and very teary as was his dad. The kids were super excited and it was a great reunion. Wasn’t long before the kids had their Christmas and belated birthday presents to open and Frankie was getting to know Nanna and Pop again, it had been 8 months since we’d seen them.
So, we set up camp, had a few drinks and dinner and decided to stay just the 2 nights. As it turned out, this part of WA had torrential rain and wind (Esperance too) so we stayed put for 3 nights. The campground was very muddy, and the toilets were leaking so it wasn’t the best place we’d stayed, but Hopetoun itself was a really lovely town. Good coffee shop that we hung about in for most of one afternoon, and the kids loved being so close to their Grandparents. Waynes parents were traveling with another couple too, so it was nice to spend time with everyone.
After a long and changing discussion, we decided to hit Esperance for a few days once the weather cleared. Waynes parents had stayed at a place just 10km out of Esperance before with their caravan club, called The Pony Club. It was $7 a night (which Wayne loved) and was basically a paddock with a toilet/shower. We had water and electricity and as we have a shower in our caravan I was ok with this. It was only for 2 nights after all ! Lots of flying bug things around, but also some kangaroos .. Something for everyone ! 🙂
I’d been wanting to go to Esperance for ages, the afternoon we got there we went into town and had a swim at the main beach. It was lovely, and the weather was so warm. Had a coffee in town after and then back to the van for dinner. The following day we went to Cape Le Grand National Park which is about 40km’s from Esperance and I’m so glad we did.
WOW.. Hellfire Bay was incredible, as was Lucky Bay. We chose Hellfire bay to have lunch and a swim and stayed there for most of the afternoon. You can drive along the beaches, the sand is white and squelchy and the views are breathtaking. You can camp there too, which would have been great to know before hand, although no power and as we don’t have a generator we probably couldn’t have done it. Something for the future though, as long as you had good weather.
I think we were getting a little itchy at this point. Well I know I was anyway, knowing that we were only about an 8 hour drive away from a hot bath and my big beautiful bed I was eager to keep traveling so we could eventually get home a couple of weeks earlier than planned. Wayne wasn’t having a bar of that at this stage though, but agreed we should head towards Albany. Waynes parents were traveling with us so we packed up and drove on.
I love Albany. Wayne was transferred to Albany when he was still working with WAPOL back in 2001 and we lived there for almost 5 months before we moved to Canberra with Wayne’s new job with the Australian Federal Police. We have such lovely memories, it was just the 2 of us back then, not long married, we had sold our house, so no mortgage, living in a GEHA house and going out to dinner and lunches constantly. Yes, the weather is cold but we had pretty good weather the whole time we lived there. This time however, it rained and rained. We had 1 fantastic day and we spent most of it at the beach (Frenchmans Bay). Wayne and I managed to go out to dinner alone too, while Nanna babysat. We showed the kids where we used to live and shop and a few other sight seeing things. Albany has changed alot. So many more places to eat/drink, a lot more shopping centres too. I loved it, even though it was wet and miserable, however Wayne and all 3 girls came down with a bad cold and temperatures etc. Living in a caravan, when it’s cold and wet AND being sick isn’t much fun for everyone. It was around this time that we were notified that our house was vacant as the tenants had moved out, and we were able to move in asap. Wayne agreed that we should make our way back home a little earlier, even if he wasn’t entirely convinced.
I think we had 3 or 4 nights in Albany and then we made our way to Busselton. Busselton is a family tradition with Wayne’s family. His parents have been going there every year since Wayne was a small child and they still go every xmas for 6 weeks. We got a good spot at the family favourite caravan park, the weather was beautiful and we were all in good spirits. We didn’t do a great deal, knowing our time was coming to and end on this trip, I went into clean mode. Made sure all my washing done, Wayne cleaned up the van a bit, I was on the phone to the GIO and the water/gas/electricity to make sure everything was in order for when we were home. We did manage to go for a drive along the south west though, take in some sights, had lunch out and took the kids to the Jetty etc. We stayed for 2 or maybe 3 nights (my memory is failing me) and then it was HOME time!
Not sure how to end this one. We’ve been home for a couple of months now. We are well and truly back into a routine, the kids are in school, Frankie is now used to her new surroundings and is ruling the roost as she did in the caravan. It’s been great to catch up with family and friends and I think we’ve almost caught up with everyone since we’ve been back. We talk about the trip a lot and I know that if he could, Wayne would be doing it again in a heartbeat. I haven’t worked a full-time job in so long that I really don’t understand the daily grind (although being a mum I have a different version of what the daily grind is) but I was so pleased for Wayne that he was able to have all that time off to spend it with us and travel this great country of ours.
Thanks for all the comments, the tips and recommendations we’ve been given on the way.
Until next time & lots of love..
The travelling Morrells x