The Longest Drive

Sun. 12th May 2019

Our car and a random Land CruiserSo we know we have a number of long drives and on checking our Excel spreadsheet itinerary (you would expect nothing less from Dave!) I see that today we have the longest drive of our trip at 480 km. Once we swap our Toyota C-HR for our Toyota Land Cruiser I don’t expect we will be able to travel as fast, so we still have some long days to come. We parked next to a Land Cruiser and it is a big beast. We did have one day of 568km on the excel spreadsheet, which also had an hour and a half time change not in our favour, crossing from WA to Northern Territories. This has been split by adding a night camping in the middle of nowhere (but hopefully on a camp site) sleeping in the tent on the roof. I am not sure who is looking forward to this least!!

First coffee stopToday, we set off promptly at 9am after our tasty cooked breakfast in the B&B and get a good hour and a half down the road before a coffee stop and change of drivers. As the road houses are few and far between you have to take them when you find them. As always everyone here is very chatty and there is no escaping discussing the area, where you are from and where you are going. Also if the Aussies have any UK relatives or ever visited the UK they just have to tell you!

Rabbit fenceMy research has told me that a 1,827km fence was built in 1901 from Hopetoun in the south to Port Hedland in the north. The plan was to stop rabbits and other vermin crossing into WA. Unfortunately the rabbits got wind of this and headed west before the fence was finished, thus defeating the object. As we will be in Port Hedland next month it piqued my interest to try and see both ends of the fence. We saw the sign here in the south by Highway 1 but were not interested enough to detour and follow it down the dirt track right to the sea.

Our first road trainMore exciting for Dave, was that we overtook our first Road Train and he was able to photograph it when we stopped for the fence. By now it was the official Hornsey lunch time so we had our picnic in the middle of nowhere, grateful that we had thought ahead and bought food yesterday as the supermarkets shut on Sunday. (Not that there were any supermarkets out here in the middle of nowhere.) We then pushed on and reached our apartment in Esperance by 2:30 very pleased with our progress.

Picnic in the middle of nowhereThat could have been the end of our excitement for the day as we settled into our room/apartment and made use of the site laundry, but no Dave discovered that Lucky Bay brewing was open this afternoon for beer tastings but shut tomorrow. It just had to be done as it was also en route to complete the 45 minute Great Ocean Drive Route west of Esperance. Tomorrow we will be heading east of town and are unlikely to have time to do both routes then. So much for my short blog post today as there is much more to tell.

As the sun goes downOur drive took us past Pink Lake but we were disappointed that it is no longer pink. After years of salt mining and a change in the water flow it no longer has sufficient salt for the pink algae to grow. Scenic enough with the sun low in the sky, but there is beer to be tasted so we moved on.

Yummy tasters (except the porter)The brewery is set in sheds on the land of a private house. The brewing tanks can clearly be seen behind the movable bar and activity of ongoing production is in evidence. There a tables set out in the sunshine to allow very pleasant tastings. The alcohol licence only allows beer to be sold in 100ml glasses or takeaway. We did both, after sampling four of the beers (I got a freebie as driver!) we settled on the Homestead (second from right in the picture) and now have a 1 litre can in the fridge (for at least a little while).

Beautiful sunsetThe sun was going down, as well as the petrol gauge, a range of 40km and it is about 25km to drive back to town. Our first stop at 11 Mile Beach is pretty enough but it is Twilight Beach we have high hopes for. The car park is on a peninsula there are views east and west. By now the sun dipped below the hills behind us and the sky was showing all kinds of pink and orange. We had no time to set up tripods etc so took what we could. Luckily, we have tomorrow morning and evening to try again, but actually I am pleased with tonight’s photos.

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One Response to The Longest Drive

  1. Sara says:

    There is a film about that fence, aptly called Rabbit Proof Fence. From memory is about the Brits mistreatment of the Aborigines.

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