Day 154: 31 October – Spring arrives in the south of WA!

Author: Mr A

Location: Esperance & Gibson’s Soak

Stepping out of the Zone this morning it felt….warm….and spring perhaps has finally arrived in this rather cool end of WA. We had to drop the caravan off for a new ensuite door to be fitted…dé jà vu indeed. The last one had arrived in Perth damaged and so Zone RV had shipped one down to Esperance, no questions. They are good guys! 

First thing on the list was a trip to Bunnings to get another chair – they have a special on and we bought one yesterday as my chair seems to be occupied by a small cat more often than not. We were so pleased with it we thought we’d pick up another one, again for the princely sum of $5s. Bunnings is the best! 

Next I was sent into the local super IGA for some provisions, a dangerous move. I went in with the mandate to purchase two bottles of Diet Coke, and came out with four bags full! I just couldn’t resist their Cornish pasties, and the tequila and lime olives were just begging to be tested. The cheese counter had a wide selection of sheep cheese, so I thought it was rude not to stock up for Mrs A. Etc…etc…. I am approaching the Nullarbor crossing knowing there will be very little of anything but pies and the very ordinary Mrs Mac’s sausage rolls for sale along the 1800km of culinary desert that awaits us. 

We had planned to go back into town for a fish and chip lunch, something Esperance with its fleet of fishing boats was famous at doing well. However, it wasn’t to be. The number one rated restaurant had closed on Saturday and was opening again today, Tuesday at 4.30pm – way past lunch!  The four other options we looked at were all closed. It seems Esperance with a French name is looking to emulate their business hours, and double the price we paid last year for a plat de jour in a beautiful little Parisian cafe. I don’t profess to understand how everything has got so expensive here, but the European tourist is definitely noticing and not happy. 

It was time for plan B then and break out the supplies. A marvellous picnic lunch in the sun, a very relaxing afternoon before heading off to pick up the Zone. I wish we had a little more time here but time is marching on and the Nullabor beckons. 

Princess Tassie joined us for a picnic

We only had a short drive to our planned camp for the night, a field beside an old pub called The Gibson Soak Hotel. I wandered into the bar to check WikiCamps was up to date and it was still OK to pull up. It was, another very friendly bar man who was pleased with the extra custom from grey nomads I would think. Another caravan was there already and three more pulled up while we were setting up. 

Gibson Soak was named after Billy Gibson, who reportedly stumbled across the soak (spring) while searching for stock
I wonder what the story is with this stretch limo parked outside the motel!

Tassie was fascinated by the range of farm animals she had spotted out the window. Not entirely comfortable, she quickly retreated to her “safe space” behind the pillows!

We ambled over to the pub and a couple of locally brewed beers soon hit the spot (oops, forgot our dry pledge…oh well, we don’t start the Nullabor until tomorrow…). The locally caught Snapper and chips were brilliant. Finally…our fish and chip craving satisfied. 

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