For the most part of our long drive along the Nullarbor, there was always something to look at or some random conversation to be had.
You start clutching at straws, however, when you reach Australia's longest stretch of road being 90 miles or 146.6km long. I considered pinching Tom a few times just to make sure he hadn't gone stiff from holding the steering wheel in the same position for such a long period of time.
We both let out a huge sign of relief as we approached the end of the straight and curved around our very first corner. Only to get around the bend and glance at the road ahead - once again dead straight up and over the horizon for as long as the eye could see. I guess, we had some kind of comfort in knowing that it was at least somewhere short of 90 miles long.
Aside from that, the journey had passed by quite well. That is until, the final 80km of the Nullarbor Plain. For some reason, it just felt as though those last 80km went on forever as we slooooowly made our way to the final town - Norseman. We began to feel somewhat deflated and just over the drive.
Tom and I had a little chuckle at how enthusiastic all of the waves from the travellers passing us by and heading in the other direction. For them, the Nullarbor Plain journey had only just began. Little did they know that their energetic five-finger-whole-hand-off-the-steering-wheel-I'm-so-excited-to-do-the-Nullarbor wave would, somewhere within the next 400 - 1100km, eventually transform into a bloody-hell-do-I-HAVE-to-wave-to-every-single-car-we-pass?!?!
The relief of reaching Norseman was very short lived, once we found out we had at least another 250km to travel to get to our destination, Esperance. It was just approaching 5pm and thanks to the cold season setting in, the days were beginning to darken very early. It was going to be a long journey. Tom and I decided to live on the edge and pick up our pace from 80km/hr to 90km/hr, what can I say? We walk on the wild side... this time we weren't going 30km/hr under the speed limit, oh no... we were going a very daring 20km/hr below. Rebels.
We'd been told by a number of people that Esperance was an absolute must do. I can see the charm, it is a nice enough place but to me, it was more like WA's smaller version of the Gold Coast. The tell-tale sign that this place must have been rather heavily populated, for me, was at the site of the massive hardware warehouse, Bunnings. I guess I'm just a coastal town snob now that we've seen so many gorgeous little quaint towns where the locals are friendly and know each other by first & last name that Esperance just didn't quite make the Oh-My-God-I've-fallen-in-love-with-everything-about-this-town cut.
That was my opinion, Tom would no doubt tell you another turn of events. I guarantee you Esperance will be a location that Tom will recall for the rest of his life. Tom had, undoubtedly, the best fishing experience of his lifetime down on the Esperance Jetty than ran 200metres out to sea. He caught 5 squid, 5 Barracuda and 3 Silver Trevally. Apparently, all of the passer-bys were very excited to stop and have a look in his bucket. A group of Japanese Tourists let out a big "Aaaaaaah, very good" and got out their SLR Canons to snap photos of the elite fisherman on the jetty. Once he returned to camp with his catch, I could just tell that he was buzzing with excitement and disbelief from the events of the last 4 hours. If I wasn't on this trip with him and there was no one for Tom to go back and check in with at camp, I have no doubt that he would still be there today, fishing his little heart out.
Since beginning the trip 7 months ago, Tom has progressed from being the fisherman who struggled to even catch the fish that were pests and overpopulating the waterways to catching first class calamari squid the size of his leg. It's incredible how we can learn so much from ourselves being on a trip like this.
Tom always enjoyed a little fish here and there but never really had the true passion for it like he does now. And I had never ever written any journals or travel blogs or anything until this trip and now, the two of us have both developed these incredible passions that we couldn't ever imagine doing this trip without.
Site : Esperance Seafront Caravan Park
Rating : 8 / 20
Facilities : Very big park and we were located right up at the top of the hill away from the ocean and near the road. Bathrooms and Camp kitchen are clean and neatly presented but a little dated. Really like the shade cloth that they peg down on the grass for your site. The price of $35 per night for a powered site dropped them down by 3 points. 10 minute walk into town centre.
And just incase you haven't already watched it...