Monday, March 9, 2009

The Swimsuit Edition

Hi Ho everybody.

Our ‘follower’ numbers have levelled off at 14 and our sponsors are getting nervous. We were therefore hoping this special ‘Swimsuit Edition’ would swell our readership, but as you’ll see the beaches have been deserted and there just hasn’t been the opportunity for covert snapping. So, sorry to disappoint. Maybe we can make up for it when we get to Cottesloe, although I’ll have to delegate that to Ness as I’ll be hopping back to Sydney for most of our time in Perth.

At risk of bringing back some of the horror of our Nullabor crossing I wanted to add a few personal points to Ness’s commentary.

Firstly, the only thing I can think of that is comparable to 1,500kms of straight flat road with period pain is sharing a car over a similar distance with someone with period pain. Secondly, I hadn’t had white line fever like that since London, or maybe it was Vancouver Island. Yes, probably Vancouver Island. Either way it was crazy stuff.

Lastly the long distance exposed some serious cavities in my mp3 collection which I had to fill on arrival in Esperance. Unbelievably the only Elvis I had was Christmas songs. First morning in coverage I hopped on to and picked up 30 #1 hits. The US$50 in my account was my only real hedge against the plummeting Australian dollar. Not to worry, take it from me - the renaissance of Australian cricket is a good sign that the global economy has now hit the bottom (albeit fairly hard). Good times are just around the corner for the Lucky Country.

We were more than a little disappointed to learn that the first cane toad to hop under it’s own steam from NT to WA had been apprehended by authorities on the day we arrived here. Apparently they have been moving west at the rate of 50-80kms a year, which is a lot of hopping. They're up in the Kimberley so it will be a few weeks before we need to pick up a DEC cane toad pack. I'm keen to help anyway we can.

I've wanted to come to Esperance for a long long time. Esperance has the best beaches in Australia, and therefore by definition, the world.

My first real attempt was in January 2007 when I had a few spare days between picking up a rental car in Perth and having a VIP appointment at Southbound. I was sadly thwarted that time around by the remnants of Cyclone Isobel which came crashing through, killing 37,000 sheep around Esperance and washing the road from Albany away. Probably all for the best as the distance would have been a struggle and I'd already picked up some double demerits just shy of Albany.

Cool Rig shot. Very Knight Rider I thought. Normally there seems to be an inverse relationship between wealth and imagination, but occasionally you meet someone mad enough to do this!

Anyhow, back to those empty beaches. Check these out. Wild horse thrown in for good measure! In another part of the multiverse I would have vaulted onto the back of this one and taken Ness for a bare back ride up the 22kms of hard white sand. Alas in this one the poor thing had a bit of a limp so I thought better of it. Nevertheless what a great time to start my first Dick Francis novel. My dad used to rave about them and I can't wait to hit the second hand bookshop tomorrow to pick up some more!

The sunset over the Recherche Archipelago wasn't too bad either.

The campsite at Cape Le Grand provide some great shade and the saltwater paperbark trees were just substantial enough for us to get the hammocks out.

And when it was too cool in the shade, the beach was a good backup choice.

After two days at Cape Le Grand we pushed on a further 100 or so kms east to Cape Arid.

The ranger said that the previous weekend every one of the big shady spots (in the welcome shelter of huge sand dunes) were taken. Not so when we got there - we had the whole of the place to ourselves. The exciting 4WD track through some soft sand followed by massive corrugations must put a lot of people off.

Not us of course, and when I work out how to add video without crashing everything I'll add a funny clip of Ness driving us back out again after two wonderful days and nights.

Cape Arid was pretty remote and meant I could only pick up the cricket on AM once the sun had gone down. ABC Adelaide luckily came through loud and clear each night just before the lunch break. In some ways I was sorry that there was a game on at all. Had it not been for the cricket this may have been the last opportunity for us to listen in to Peter Goers's evening show. He might be a little eccentric, but the guy is an absolute dead set legend. You might be able to stream it from the ABC.

Ness looking in a huge clear rock pool at Cape Arid.

And in case you were getting withdrawal symptoms from Cape Le Grand, here's one more glimpse of its beach perfection.

Oh, and Goodnight Mr Goers wherever you are.

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