22. Lucky Man

Guess who’s back?! Its me, and I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling’ 22. (Blog posts.) Yes, I’m back and I’m bringing the bad jokes with me.

So, when I left you last time I was like one of Johnny Depp’s dogs – not in Australia. I’ll keep this story short, but basically I went back to the UK for 4 days for a job interview. Yes its mad. Yes I was tired. Yes I drank all the free alcohol on the plane. They had Peroni. It was all very exciting and before you could say ‘Alex you didn’t tell me you were coming home you little bugger’ I was back on a plane to Australia. Sorry!

Fast forwarding through lots of film watching on the plane, I landed back in Perth ready to continue travelling and feeling like I’d beaten the jetlag. Tracy and Gav were again far too awfully generous in putting us up (yes, I did just say awfully – I have turned into Hugh Grant) and the next stage of the adventure was lined up and ready to go.

3am the next morning, it turned out I hadn’t quite beaten the jetlag. As a result, we spent the next day on City Beach in Perth with me thoroughly enjoying doing absolutely nothing. Bliss.


We also got Fish and Chips on the beach because we are as British as a bulldog wearing a top hat, though it wasn’t any of your old newspaper nonsense – we’re posh now so we were on a balcony overlooking the beach with wine and beer and plates and everything. Who do we think we are ey?

Day 2 of the return to Perth (this time its personal) took us to Caversham Wildlife Park which is in the suburbs of Perth and a very hands on experience with loads of wildlife. We started with the farm animals;

Looks cute, but its mum stuck her head up my shorts, so don’t trust em.

Next, Kangas! The chap on the right with me lay there for most of the day and had his food brought to him by his foolish but handsome waiter (his words not mine) in a lifestyle I envy every day.

After this we headed to say hi to a Koala called Eric, and we also saw wombats, all sorts of birds and I held a snake because I’m brave. We won’t mention that it was placid and a girl who looked about 17 was holding the dangerous end, thank you very much.

Sorry for that onslaught of animals, but they were all pretty cool. After Caversham, it was Sunday and all of a sudden we were on the next adventure down to the South West of Australia in our majestic Hyundai Accent rental car (5 doors and a self opening boot – madness). With excitement, anticipation and a large playlist of songs from 2009 on my iPod – we set off.

Unfortunately, the drive to Esperance is 95% wheat fields (the other 5% is pretty much Perth and Esperance themselves). Now I don’t know if you’ve ever driven through wheat fields for 8 hours, but christ on a bike its boring. Think Year 8 Geography lessons, or a General Studies exam.

The monotony was briefly punctured by a visit to Wave Rock. I think I’ve mentioned before that the Aussies don’t fanny about when it comes to naming things – see if you can guess how they came up with this one:

We were joined in our viewing by a hideously large number of flies, so made the quick decision to get back on the road for some more wheat action.

We reached Esperance with our sanity wavering and the blood of a thousand flies on our bonnet, but thankfully out of the car and around scenery which at least had the decency to exist and involve a couple of contrasting colours. A lie down in the YHA quickly turned into a full blown snooze, bordering on a nap – 8 hours of nothin’ but wheat will do that to ya. Incidentally the varying definitions of short sleeps is something I hope to clarify before the end of my lifetime – where does a ‘slumber’ fit in and is a doze longer or shorter than a kip? But now’s not the time.

With it being Sunday we were scuppered by the point blank refusal of rural Australian supermarkets to open on what Christians see as a day of rest and Australians see as a day of getting pissed. We found ourselves back to the dark days of the small, low stocked and expensively priced supermarkets of 2 weeks previous, and yet managed to cobble together some chicken fajitas. This says more about Katie’s cooking skills than I ever could. If there’s a quick sale, she can basically smell it out. Probably because it’s gone off. That’s why they put them on quicksale. But travelling needs must and we didn’t include non-moulding veg in the budget, so there you are.

I say all this about budgets – we were in our own private room in Esperance. This was out of necessity as there were no mixed dorms available – but at only $6 more than what we would have paid anyway, we decided to treat ourselves. That said, it was a shack and cold enough for us to sleep in our own sleeping bags so don’t go getting any ideas of luxury.

The next morning we headed east on a 45 minute hop to the Cape Le Grand National Park, home to beaches that were rumoured to be stunning.

It’s a slightly tough thing to get across without alienating pretty well everyone you know, but sometimes the stunning landscapes just become a bit repetitive after a while. I’m fully aware this makes me sound like an awful human, but once you’ve seen 20 incredible beaches the effect of the 21st dulls a bit.

Then we saw Lucky Bay and all of that got completely blown out of the water.

It’s genuinely a breathtaking beach and probably the best looking we’ve seen in Australia. We took a long walk on the beach (because isn’t that what couples do?) and had a picnic at the end with this view:

As if a picnic on the beach wasn’t middle class enough, it included my newest addiction of crackers and hommos/hummus/hoummus (I don’t know how to spell it and I’ve run out of mobile data to google it). This addiction, by the way, is entirely Gavin’s fault as he introduced me to this utter wonder of snackery.

We then popped over to Hellfire Bay, an equally stunning beach, and rewarded all our hard work so far with a lie down. Unfortunately we couldn’t swim, as the beach was deserted and I have a rule that if you’re the only person in the water you may aswell season and marinade yourself because you’re going to become shark dinner. Plus, Esperance is quite southerly and the water was freezing as a result. We paddled, at least. Plenty of time for swimming in warmer and less shark dense waters later.

Our next stop was Twilight Beach on the other side of Esperance which was impressive, though missing the wow factor of Lucky Bay (yes I did just say wow factor, sorry) before a scoot over to one of the reasons we had come here in the first place – Pink Lake.

We know about the Australian naming system now, so it’ll come as no surprise that the Pink Lake is a Lake that is Pink.

Except it’s not. It’s blue.

It was pink, but for reasons probably mentioned in Year 8 Geography classes (and as I told you before they were very dull) it is no longer pink. These are the risks of the Australian naming system. I suggest ‘Lake Bitter Dissapointment after a 20 minute diversion’ as the new title.

This brought to an end all the worthwhile tales of Esperance and the next day would take us on a 5 hour drive to our next stop Albany,  so let’s depart to the image of us driving in our loveable Hyundai Accent into the Esperance sunset with memories of stunning beaches. If you take away one thing from this blog, let it be this:

Pink Lake is crap.

Alex Odlin would like to apologise to his Year 8 Geography teacher. This was all for humour. Sort of. If you’d like to follow him, make sure you do it on Twitter and Instagram and not in real life.


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