We Should Be So Lucky

Mon. 13th May 2019

Lucky BayAs I was supposed to have an easy day yesterday and Dave has loads of words from the day around Albany still to write I have offered to write two posts in a row. We have an easy day today, a 1 hour drive to Cape Le Grand National Park and have a look around and then drive back. Simples!

Baby kangaroo posing for meWe are now the furthest east we are going along the south coast at Esperance and the brochure shows the iconic shot of kangaroos on the beach. We head out to Lucky Bay which is just beautiful blue waters in a crescent shaped bay. It was named Lucky Bay by Captain Flinders (who we “met” before at Cape Leeuwin, when we learned that he skippered the first ship to circumnavigate Australia). He took refuge in the bay from bad weather at sea and for his good fortune he named it Lucky Bay.

Rocks meet seaWe agree with the name as we were lucky enough to see a mother and baby kangaroo feeding on the seaweed on the beach. They were not frightened of us or the three girls already there getting their photos taken with the kangaroos. The little one started heading for the dunes, but decided to stop and wait around until mother was ready to move on. By that time we had taken many photos and had found a good mix of composition and lighting especially given the strong sunlight. I am pleased with the result (even if in my excitement I had forgotten to reset the ISO setting on my camera from last night’s sunset shoot).

Lucky Bay lookoutAt the far end of the beach was a lookout point which we started heading for along the fine white sand. Once you start it is difficult to turn back so half an hour later we finally got there, jealous of the 4×4 vehicles which drove past us on the sand. Next week that will be us (maybe)! The beach was just so lovely that we enjoyed the walk and better still at the far end were some rocks for Dave to go and play and try for some artistic photo shots. I waited at the lookout for the sun to come out from behind the clouds but it was not to be. Still, not a bad result.

View from Frenchmans PeakOn the walk back we were afraid it might rain but the ominous grey clouds blew over so we had our picnic in the sunshine. There are a number of bays in the National Park and we had a quick look at Hellfire Bay – who could resist a name like that? However, we could not delay the decision on whether to walk up Frenchman’s Peak any longer. One person said 30 minutes to the top for a fit walker, another said a 3 hour round trip. We were not sure who to believe. The rock at the top does look spectacular so we head that way with a hole through it and the sun shining through.

View through the rocksI had heard it was a scramble at times and a bit steep, so my walking poles got an outing, and I did need them. When a girl Stephen’s age went speeding past me on the steep rocks I thought being 60 sucks. But I don’t do badly for an oldun!! The path started quite gentle as we followed the metal markers, but as we started ascending the rock there were definitely times I thought, hmmm no safety rope and a long drop behind me. Thankfully our feet grip on the rocks remarkably well, so we continued upwards. I clocked 140 active minutes on my watch on the trip up and down. I have not yet worked out how these are calculated but I think most of them would be minutes counted twice as it was hard work and it only took us 30 minutes to reach the first cave.

Contemplating the view The view from the first cave was breath taking (not that I had much left!) and it was possible to see for miles and miles. I had lugged my big 100-400mm lens up the top but the shots were not the best. Dave did better with views through the huge hole in the rocks framing the sea. We spent an hour scrambling around and working our way right to the summit. What an amazing place, the rocks make great climbing and photo opportunities and the views are just stunning. It was 4pm by the time we had descended back to the car, those people just starting the climb will need to be quicker than us if they are to descend before sunset.

Whale tail sculture in townTalking, of sunset we scoot past our apartment and back to Twilight Bay to see if the light, as the sun goes down works for photos. I was not convinced, but Dave found a few shoots. I was keener to drive on to Observatory Point, which overlooks Observatory Island and also has views east and west. This point did provide more views but with the sun behind us, nothing stunning and the whale tail sculpture works as well as anything. Sunrise could produce better pictures so we contemplate an early start tomorrow, and we know the drive through coffee house opens at 5am!! We continue mulling this over as we have our takeaway fish and chips washed down with Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc but decide we are just too tired and although it would give us an early start for our four hour drive to Hyden we would rather sleep in.

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