MONDAY 3 MAY ESPERANCE TO THOMAS RIVER 135kms
I phoned son to wish him a happy birthday for tomorrow – whilst I was still in a place with a phone signal. Tomorrow he would turn 30.
After a relatively early breakfast, we did a final small shop for oddments: oil for Truck, a tyre deflating gadget, milk, bread and the like. Collected mail. The expected new aerial for the GPS was in the mail bag, but they had sent the wrong one!
I collected some more books from the library – we would be passing back through town before their due date.
Refuelled Truck – $1.03cpl.
Then it was back to van, where we completed the pack up and hitching up of van.
Our destination was the Thomas River camp ground in the Cape Arid National Park, to the east of Esperance. We intended to have a look out there – where we had not been before. If we liked what we saw, would stay there, otherwise would come back to Cape Le Grande National Park, where we had camped for a couple of nights in ’93. We knew the camp ground at Lucky Bay was adequate and the surrounding area lovely, but also that it could become quite crowded.
The drive took us out through Condingup, and was mostly through farmland – grain growing country. It was quite pleasant. Eventually turned south. The last 12kms was on a gravel road, but it was in good condition.
We came first to the Shire campground, which fronted onto the little Thomas River. It seemed alright, but we decided to go look at the National Parks campground, up on the hill, just in case it was better.
It was absolute magic! We found a site high on the hillside, with a superb view over Yokinup Bay to Cape Arid and Mt Arid. Ours was a deep site, set back with bush on three sides. We could hear the sea. There was an adequate eco-toilet not too far away. There were only two other lots of campers there, and a couple who were acting as campground hosts – Rhyllis and John. We discovered that he was the brother of a lady I’d known for some time, through my then work. She was for a time a State Parliamentarian. Yet again – small world.
This was just a wonderful place to stay. There were no formal fees, but we donated $5 for each night we stayed.
After setting up, went for a short walk to the beach. A path through the scrub met up with a vehicle access that came from the Shire campground. The beach was quite wide with firmer sand where the tide advanced and receded. but softer sand behind that. We judged it able to be driven on, at low tide.
Came back to the camp hosts’ van for Happy Hour drinks. Rhyllis had made little savouries – it was a pleasant, relaxed hour or so. She was yet another former secondary teacher!
There were lots of birds about. The surrounds were mostly banksia dominated scrub and heathlands.
Hearing the sound of the sea as background noise at night was lovely. It was a cold night.