Hyden to Esperance/Gibson Soak
Great relieved start to the day as the car started first time having sat overnight. We still have no idea why it chose to give us issues previously, as we approach the Nullarbor crossing it best not do it again.
Today we have a four hour drive which will take us just outside and to the north of Esperance. We will stop for a look around Esperance before heading north towards Norseman which is at the western end of the Nullarbor and will stay at The Gibson Soak Pub which lets you park for free. We had intended to get to Norseman via Kalgoorlie and visit the super pit but as we were freaked out by the mine at Tom Price and it would add another hour and a half to our travel, we chose Esperance.
The drive to the Soak is long and for the most part uneventful, we do have to avoid the usual wildlife on the road and the car gets absolutely smashed by huge groups of flys dive bombing in to the windscreen and front of both the car and van, disgusting and fly brain everywhere.
Arriving at the pub there are not many people parked but that is probably due to the schools returning this week.
There are no rules here and you can grab any spot you fancy then get set up. We choose to park just below a tree which will provide a bit of shade. We thought that was a great idea until a couple of Magpies arrived and started to swoop us. No worries though as we will sprint to the pub and hope the Magpies are asleep when we return.
Just to make sure it is free to park we get in to the pub which is a beauty with an open fire, pool table, TV and a great selection of food and booze.
The landlord confirms that there is no charge as long as we have our own power and water which we do. He made it free to park after asking the local shire for a caravan park license which was refused to protect the parks already set up in Esperance
All settled in we get straight back on the road and head in to have a look round Esperance which is really surprising and is actually quite a large town. There is a huge harbour area which seem to be a facility for loading boats for the mines.
In our research there was mention of a pink Lake and we head off in search of it. This takes a bit of time before we reach the huge lake but disappointingly it is not pink and in fact looks like any other lake.
To make it more annoying just about everything in the town begins with pink lake, like pink lake IGA etc. we are told the lake does turn pink but not at this time of year, that might be something to add for the tourists. Having had a good look about we head out of town and head north again to Gibson and as we arrive we can see there are quite a few more folks set up but luckily not close to our van.
Since we are allowed to stay here free of charge we reckon you should at least have a drink in the pub. We head in and the place is not very busy with a couple of locals propping up the bar. A glass of red for Kaz and a schooner for me, only 14.00 which I reckon is pretty good. We decide to eat here and we treat ourselves to a steak sandwich and a beef burger and again very good at $15.00 each. Fed and watered its back to the van and Sons of Anarchy series four now. We manage one and a half episodes before it’s lights out we hope for a great nights sleep.
Gibson Soak to Caiguna
We had an excellent sleep here last night and leave by 7.30 heading for the infamous Nullarbor crossing. It’s pretty cold here about 13 degrees and foggy but soon clears in to bright sunshine and the temperature eventually hits 35 very nice. Heading north first it takes us no time to reach the town of Norseman where we head in to the local information office and speak with a lovely lady who provides a map of the Nullarbor and talks us through how best to cross it safely.
Having got that sorted she then recommends a cafe in town where we can grab breakfast and great coffee. We take lovelies advice and scoff breakfast and coffees before we fuel up. We meet a couple who had stayed at Olive Hill Farm when we were there and like us loved it. They had booked one night but stayed for three. We then spoke to a guy driving a converted bus whilst towing a caravan. A bit strange but he had been travelling with his mother for four years and chase the sun as his mothers ailments can’t handle the cold. They both had houses and decided to sell them and travel Australia instead, he lives in the bus and mother lives in the caravan. Yep we were thinking the same STRANGE, but takes all sorts I suppose.
We leave the town and get some serious km under our belt.
The road is great and reasonably quiet except for the thunder of road trains speeding both ways providing the usual shock wave. The road is also where Kangaroos come to commit suicide as the road is littered with various bits and pieces of skippy and family. We will have to get both the van and car steam cleaned as it both have to be covered in roadkill stew. Having covered just over 500 km we pull in to our overnight stop which is just a windy desolate bit of dirt off the main highway with no facilities but hey for the second night it is free. We are joined by several other vans taking a rest for the night and amusingly the local birds take delight in feeding on all the bug and meat roadkill stuck to our car and van. The chains on the van look like they were used to murder someone and are splattered with roo blood. We are glad to have our ensuite and solar power here and both have a great shower before darkness falls and we hope none knocks on our door overnight.