We left Albany early in the morning and drove East to Esperance.
... and drove, and drove, and drove.
Australia is an ancient land, so everything is pretty flat. Most of those that live in the country are all on the East Coast so Western Australia is a whole lot of flat, empty space. It's beautiful because of that but I've never done a drive of this distance through it's nothingness before.
We can thank the Americans for the roads. They were here during WWII and laid down miles and miles of tarmac -in dead straight lines. They offered to do the same in NZ but our Government didn't want to owe anyone anything and politely refused. Sure would have made my job a lot easier if they had accepted. Corners are dangerous when you aren't careful!
Anyway, very few corners during 4 or 5 hours of this drive. Out the window the red soil of WA was covered with low scrub. I had plenty of time to think as Margaret was having a stint behind the wheel. We only had a couple of discs and changing them each hour was kind of a welcome break.
I threw a few poetic lines together...
Driving from Albany to Esperance
My feet were cold from the air conditioning
Grey ribbon road under steel grey sky.
We crested hill and there, directly ahead, the next rise
2ks plus of dead straight drive.
A truck to pass.
A car opposing.
Scrub left and right of red hot shoulders
110 on cruise with three hours to go.
Thank God for Don Williams!
Esperance is a beach town and a lot of holiday homes hug the coast. This is the first town that Margaret lived when she left NZ and came to Aussie about 30 years ago. She was working in a bank and flatted with a couple of her workmates.
We spent the time we had here driving around the area identifying things from her past.
The weather had turned and was a little too changeable to get out of the car and leave it for too long but we enjoyed some nice walks along a few of the beaches dotted about and stopped in at a few of the cafes for a latte or two.
The place had grown in 30 years (as you'd expect) but Margaret was still able to identify a couple of houses she was familiar with around town. It was an easy couple of days before we turned the car around and headed West back to Bunbury.