Big Lap WA 2015- Day 28, 29 and 30- Esperance Western Australia

Hi everyone,

yes I am doubling up again, we have had a run of busy days, bad internet connections and on my birthday which was day 30.. we were so tired we were in bed asleep by 9.00pm! But first let me back track a little and fill you all in..

Day 28– was (Friday 9th October 2015)

We did the sightseeing thing around town, we had spoken to the lady at the Information place and she gave us the flier for the Sea fishing charter, the boys discussed it and decided that they would get that for me as my birthday present which is also a thing on my “Bucket List” My Bloke likes to help me tick things off my list every so often and he listened when I said “I don’t want “stuff” I want experiences”

So on Friday we went to Esperance Diving and Fishing store and booked in, we wanted to do it Saturday but they didn’t have enough numbers so we booked in for Sunday which was actually my birthday. And we got the sticker to prove it! It was an expensive day but they seemed to think I’m worth it so I agreed “Let’s go!”

Esperance, Fraser Range Station 004

Got the flier and the Sticker

After we booked in we did the tour around town, visited some historic stores and got the usual sticker and tea towel, all these tea towels (some of you might call them kitchen towels) I am going to sew together to make a quilt cover for when we travel. We stick the stickers on the inside of the trailer lid as another form of journaling.

In the afternoon after we went back to camp for left over Chinese food, we went to the Jetty to fish, well, that was the plan, but it was SO WINDY!! not freezing cold wind but very choppy, the boys soon gave up and we were back to camp. We got some directions for a special beach that the locals don’t tell the tourists but she reassured us that it was OK to tell us “since her husband is an EX Victorian so we are kinda related”.. she was a very funny lady and drew us a “mud map” which was the worst idea ever, but that’s tomorrows news!

Each afternoon around about 4.00pm until about 8.00pm there is a flood of arrivals, you can almost see a pattern happening, today’s arrival brought a lovely older gentle man he says to me “Love, I turned 81 a couple a weeks ago” his name was Graham, now my Blokes are chatty people they’ll talk to anyone and make friends very easily.. that doesn’t sit well with me and I tend to stay around MY camp and so MY thing, ok, I’m an introvert and I like it that way! But the Bloke came rushing back and said

“Hun, there’s a guy here in an Ultimate!” Ok, so right away that got my attention.. and  asked “Is it the one WE want?” and he says “Yes!” so I said “well Mr Have-a-chat, why don’t you go talk to him and find out how good they really are?”

An Ultimate is a type of caravan, it’s a packup small kind of van and is not too heavy to tow, but Oh! the inside is so delicious, we have been stalking these caravans for two years now and each time we say “When we grow up we are going to have one of those”


Ultimate Xplore

Kitchen and living area.
Look at that huge bed!!
Photos from the Ultimate Website

Last time we went to look at it I told the sales guy “This is MY van, I just have to find the money, I’ve already named her” he laughed and said “So what DID you name “her”??” I replied “Ursula Ultimate of course” he thought that was hilarious and called over the second guy who recognised us from the previous year when we had kept going back to look at this van and on the fourth visit he said “I’ll take a check if it’s easier” to the Bloke. So they know that one day soon we’ll be coming for that van. But here was a real life van, not one in the show room all perfect and neatly set up, but one that had been driven and used. So the Bloke wanders off and then rushes back again and said “The Guy is having a glass of wine and wants you to come down and see his van before he goes to bed he’s old”  So I went, because I had questions that I wanted answers to and he would have them being that he’s been living in his Ultimate! When we got there The Bloke introduced me to 81 yr old Graham who hands me a glass of wine and some chopped up crumbling cheese and says “Come on love, come on in, sit down jump on the bed whatever you like!” I loved him right away! Some other person we had spoken to a few days earlier had said they almost got an Ultimate but they didn’t like the bed set up, so I wanted to talk to Graham and ask him the question. He showed us how the bed set up and  packed up and then he took us outside and showed us all around the van and the mini set up that he had, had taken him about 15 minutes this afternoon. He told us about the pack up would take him about an hour in the morning. He was such a lovely man, he invited me to open all the drawers and cupboards, to look in the fridge, “feel how nicely the drawers open and close love!” and “here sit on the couch and I’ll show you the heater” so he closed the door, locked us in all cozy and turned on the heater, within a few minutes it was like an oven! We ended up being there for an hour and drinking his wine and eating his cheese, he told us the story about how he and his wife used to camp in tents, but then when his wife died, he sold his house and brought the Ultimate and is traveling to the places that they had planned to go together. He had even taken her to “The Top” in Australia in travel speak “The Top” means the tip of Australia the most Northern point of Australia is Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland and The Bloke judges everything on the ability to “get us to the Top” so when he sees a camper trailer or a vehicle the first comment is “That’ll get us to the Top!” and so I was most impressed when Graham told us he’d taken his Girl to “The Top” and he said “Look at her she still looks like new” well she did with a fine covering of red desert sand which I love! I just wanted to run my hands all over his Ultimate! He so should be a sales man for Ultimate because if I didn’t already want one.. after spending an hour with Graham I wanted one!

As we were leaving we thanked him for sharing his “girl” (He doesn’t have a name for her) and I asked “What brand of wine is this?” so there began a whole new conversations and I stumbled away with a 1/4 bottle of wine to eat with my Tacos.

Esperance, Fraser Range Station 002

Amberley Wines from Western Australia.. yum!

Esperance, Fraser Range Station 003

I keep the labels in my journal for future reference!

Day 29-

We were supposed to be moving on today, but ended up having an extra day since we have our fishing charter trip on Sunday, so we decided to follow the “funny Lady’s” mud map and go to a place called Thomas River, which is a secluded beach and cover where whales come. She drew us this funny little map and we set off to try and find it… mission a complete disaster.

We ended up stopping at “Condingup” there was a “Bar” “Restaurant” and “café” we thought we would just grab something at the “café” and take away but the prices were stupid and so we ordered the cheapest thing on the menu which was hamburgers and Star Son had chips.. they were the biggest hamburgers I’ve ever seen but they cost $18.00 each ouch!! Then we were back into the car heading for Thomas River.. finally we’d been driving all up two hours there were no signs we seemed to be in the middle of no where so we quit and turned around and went back to camp. a complete waste of a day! When we got back to camp there was a family with four children camped next to us so Star SOn made friends with the eldest boy and finally had a friend to play football with.

Day 30- 11th October 2015 (My 48th Birthday)

We had to be at the Jetty to meet the boat at 6.10am. So the Bloke (thinking by some chance we would sleep in) set three alarms, one on his ipad, one on his phone and then one on my phone! Sheesh, there were things buzzing and screeching and music blaring all over the tent! mind you I had been awake since 5.00am, it’s already light then! So we quickly silenced everything and got dressed and got Star Son up and ready to go. Lunch would be supplied and none of us were very hungry so we didn’t eat this might prove to be a huge mistake later on! We took out chilly bag with drinks and a snack just in case.

Esperance, Fraser Range Station 007

We were on time “What’s the time?” fishin’ time!!

Esperance, Fraser Range Station 009 We were excite to get on the boat, there were four other people.

So the bay was choppy and I’ll confess I said a few quite prayers for some nice weather, the second in charge Kingsley tells us “it’s going to be nice later on then get a bit rough this afternoon, we’ll be back by then”  The  Captain was Colin and he gave us the safety talk and the demonstration about how to work the toilet and what to do in case of sea sickness, we all laughed (like that’s NOT going to happen to US) One of the men was there on his own Jeff, and he started chatting to us and explained about the huge container ships in the bay, how they took the iron ore and minerals that were being mined at Kalgoorlie and they were shipped to this port, loaded onto these ships and sent to China along with the grain we’d been checking out growing in all the fields there about. Jeff was a local clearly because he told us many interesting facts throughout the day, about the fish we were catching and the islands we were cruising past, there are 103 island in the area none of them are inhabited, one has access to the island but it’s full of death adders so NO ONE goes there! Jeff also told us about the real life Australian Pirate story, he made the trip more fun for sure. We had to travel over an hour I think it was about 1 hour 45 minutes to get to our first fishing spot, and Colin set the boat into place and explained they don’t drop the anchor the waters too deep instead we drift with our lines over board so we were given a demo on how to use the rod and reels and he yelled “go now!” How exciting!! Everyone on board brought up at least one fish, Star Son brought up two, the lines were double hooked and baited. The excitement on Will’s face was worth so much more than anything I could think of for a birthday present.

Esperance, Fraser Range Station 010

Leaving the Harbour

Esperance, Fraser Range Station 011

Just a gal and her Bloke.

So by 7.45am we were catching fish, so many I couldn’t keep count, we had to yell I’m on!” then either Kingsley or Colin would come and help us with the net when we “saw colour” meaning the fish was close enough to get with the net. We were assigned bucket number 2 and all our fish were put in that bucket and also written down in the book… for limits and sizes etc,.

The next time we stopped to fish the waves were knocking the boat around a lot, I was almost falling over, and Kingsley again came to the rescue with a lesson on how to stand on a moving boat! Busy your knees into the side of the boat ( here we are 3 days later, my knees are SO SORE!!) The waves kept getting bigger even though I had more than a few quiet words with the Big Bloke Creator, and suddenly I found myself running for the designated spot for “sea sickness” and then a few minutes later I find Kingsley very gently pressing a hot wet towel into my hands and saying “Here ya go love this will help” I’ve been out on boats loads of times but that was the first time I’ve been sick, it was so out of left field, I assumed that it would be
“all good now” but It really wasn’t! Lunch was a BBQ and it smelt so good and we were all pretty exhausted already from dragging up the big fish and holding on for dear life as the boat tossed us around on rough seas, and I’d been throwing up my stomach lining, so I was excited for lunch, I got a roll with a hamburger, some lettuce and some onion. I nibbled a little bit of lettuce, a strand of onion and the tiniest bite of hamburger before I was throwing my lunch at The Bloke and running for the side again… needless to say I didn’t finish my lunch!! I was more than ready to go home by the time Colin set the boat for shore.

As we were heading back Kingsley got Star Son to help keep count and name the different species of fish and this is what I counted, before running off to be sick again….

  • Red Swallowtail
  • Bighting Fish (they were the ones that eat the coral, his teeth were impressive and his razor sharp scales too)
  • Breaksea Cod
  • Knife Fish
  • Trevally
  • Western Black fish
  • Blue Grouper
  • Queen Snapper.

There were more but I threw my phone at Rob and ran to be sick, he didn’t realise he was supposed to keep writing them down! All together we had over 25 fish. We don’t have the room to keep them all so we suggested Jeff and some of the other people take our fish as well, We took the Trevally, the Queen Snapper and three of the red biting fish, but as it turns out we didn’t even keep those as we were leaving camp we donated the fish to campers around us. A couple of German guys took the Snapper, and a couple of Grey Nomads took the red biting fish and then we gave some young back packers the rest because they were in between jobs and were watching their money, so I felt good that my birthday presents were shared!

We all stank when we got back to camp, so we quickly showered and put all our clothes in the washing machine and drier and we went to the local pub for dinner.. where I had my favourite dinner.. Chicken Parma!

Esperance, Fraser Range Station 046

Chicken Parma!

We were all totally stuffed when we got home, with food and also due to the early morning get up and I felt like death warmed up with my “motion sickness” apparently it’s different from “Sea Sickness” the Bloke asked me “Would you do that again?” my honest answer is NO!!!! Early bed night, were on the road again tomorrow.

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