When you are traveling, I urge you to take a moment to have experiences by yourself, as often as possible. You will not regret it. You will likely not ever forget it.
Waking up in the back of a car, pulled a bit off the road, with no idea where you are can feel like a surreal experience. It was 4am, just before dawn, and I decided to step outside and look around. This was one of the strangest experiences of my life – it was as if all the sound had been sucked out of the world. No trees or plants softly moving, no birds, no cars, not even the sound of the breeze. It was complete stillness. It felt like a waking dream.
I dozed off again until the sun rose and lit up the golden wheat fields all around us.
From this lovely view we headed off to Wave Rock – the reason for this northern detour. It was worth the drive.
The coloured rock walls were beautiful. And the view from the top wasn’t bad either.
We spent some time dumbfounded how something like this could exist in the middle of the outback, and then headed back south. Next stop was Esperance, a place I had heard only good things about.
After spending the night on a nondescript patch of grass in someone’s backyard, we pulled into Cape Le Grande National Park bright and early to get a campsite. We got lucky and only had a grassy dune separating our temporary home from the beach.
After we set up camp, we spent some time exploring the beach. This was not the busy tropical beach from tourist campaigns, but an empty, isolated stretch of pale white sand. This is a quiet beach.
And then we tried to climb up Frenchman’s Peak. We failed miserably. Not because we couldn’t make it, but because we simply took the wrong path and took a lovely hike along the slopes of two other hills, wondering the whole time when the path would slant upwards. (this has become a theme in my life even if I didn’t know it yet.)
However, it was beautiful walk filled with tiger-striped rocks and tiny lightning quick lizards.
It was halfway through the full six kilometre trail, upon a higher slope, that we realised we were heading for Hellfire Bay. Without any extra food or water, and the sky threatening rain, we had to turn back to camp.
I was tickled that we’d gone on a surprise hike, the view of the area was sprawling.
After the rain had finished I picked my way back to the beach. At first I sat on the rocks, warmed through from my sunburn, watching the waves roll up and break on themselves.
I started walking, and eventually I was all alone. Just the green waves, dark clouds, white sand below me, and the silhouettes of mountains everywhere I looked.
And then the clouds broke and gave me a show.
I woke up early and again spent some time on the beach. No one else was there yet, I was the first person to make footprints on the sand that day. Feeling like you are the only person on Earth is a rare treat.
The afternoon brought us to Lucky Bay – Australia’s whitest beach. It was full of beauty and oddities and wildlife.
There were many things at Lucky Bay I had never seen before, including a python taking a nap on the sand.
We owed it to ourselves to look in at Hellfire Bay after our hike. To celebrate, we made sand angels.
Finally it was time for one last sunset. Esperance delivered, and continued to show me things I had never seen before.
To think that we were only halfway through our trip was thrilling, how could it possibly get any better?