Date: 15-17th March 2023
Travelled: 60 kms from Esperance to Le Grande NP in Western Australia
Visited: Esperance and Le Grande NP
Stayed: Esperance RAC , $48 a night, S33.84603, E121.90241
Budget: days @ $ per day
We wake early but don’t seem to achieve anything of note until our bikes come off the back of the Jayco and we ready ourselves for a ride. Doesn’t make for the most interesting post but it’s a change in pace for us.
There are extensive bike paths in Esperance and we start the ride heading east around the Bay with Castletown on our left.
We go as far as path allows before riding back to Esperance. Stopping at the pier and walking out to take in the view and see what the fisherman are catching. I ask the fellow with the electric bike towing the trailer full of fishing gear if I can take a picture. He goes on to tell me proudly he has had the bike tricked up and it will do 78 kph (no I didn’t see a helmet either), which strikes me as a death wish. Then he expands to explain the cops (his words) booked him for 65 kph resulting in a $105 fine, so he sticks to the speed limit now.
Up early next morning we disconnect the Jayco’s umbilical cords and make for the road. It’s a 60 km drive east from Esperance to the Le Grande NP. We cough up $8 (concession rate) to enter the park. It’s postcard weather and being early we manage to squeeze the Jayco into the tiny carpark that marks the start of the Frenchman’s Peak walk.
The walk is only 1500 m to the top, but it climbs 260 m+ in the last 800 m, that’s steep and graded 5. With our walking sticks I’m sure we’ll be OK or at least I’m sure I’ll be OK. The breeze helps us to cool down when we rest stop, we make the top easily in less than 40 minutes. The view from the top is spectacular but extra care is needed around the summit there’s no handrails up there.
With Frenchman done we take our time, but it’s a lot easier coming down than going up. We pass several people who have started the climb and decided it a little too steep. Sticks make a big difference and add a little extra confidence.
It’s only a short drive on to Lucky Bay. We did try to book a spot in the NP campsite here but it seems to be booked out weeks ahead. Anyway we find a long parking spot only a short walk from the beach, walking off down the beach for a swim.
Whilst the water seems a little chilly, we soon get over the shock and enjoy a long swim and a sit in the sun. Forgot the camera but the water is crystal clear. Whilst there is always the risk of sharks the more obvious risk is being run over by some Asian tourist in a rented 4WD.
Back in the Jayco we make a coffee and enjoy the view. All this and it’s only 11.30.
We eventually make our way back to Esperance, give the Jayco a bath at a car-wash and spend the late afternoon relaxing.
Next morning it’s very windy and much cooler than yesterday, we make a slow start but eventually cycle into the centrum and do some more exploring.
The day slips by as they do, we are out for dinner with Joy and Johannes tonight. This time Johannes favourite Chinese. We chat away about this and that only broken by that fact everyone knows Joy and Johannes. I’m convinced Johannes should run for parliament, unfortunately his strong streak, honesty and public service wouldn’t go well these days.
Michael + Pam