I don’t mean that in a negative sense. I wonder if whoever wrote the song ever saw the Southern Ocean? For, to see the sea at Esperance is to fall in love with blue. This is unlike any blue I’ve ever seen. Not the indigo-wash blue of Jodhpur’s houses, not the vivid blue of Perth’s beaches, but a deep sparkling blue that makes me think of sapphires and velvet, diamonds and midnight. So begins my visit to Esperance.
I’m hungry – a four-hour car drive from Kalgoorlie does wonders for your appetite, even if you are only the passenger. However, my friend knows where to find McDonalds. Yes, the golden arches have found a home down on Australia’s southern coast. My friend orders the lamb burger, and I opt for the fish. This is a bad choice. Lamb looks much better in a burger. If only I could eat red meat.
Later, as we drive down the road to the beaches, I spot my first emu in the wild. Only a silhouette, but still…! Do people eat emu meat?
We’re freezing – at least, I know I am. But the full moon over the bay is too good a photo op to miss. It’s not an easy shot though. Moon over the quay, moonlight on the waves. Click. Perfect. I could write advertising copy for Nikon.
We’re exploring Cape Le Grand Natural Park and very grand it is too, in the French sense of the word. The weather is fine, and if we’ve missed the early morning kangaroos, we certainly haven’t missed the view. After much modest wriggling in the car, I manage to strip off stockings and walk down to the beach. I curl my toes into the satin-sheen sand. It’s softer than feathers.
My friend is taking photographs. We will have 500 shots before the trip’s end. It’s quiet. The beach is almost empty. The waves are shushing the noisy gulls. We’re so lucky to be here, to see this. What else would we be in Lucky Bay?
We spot kangaroos on the roadside on our way back. They are adorable. Ummm…people do eat kangaroo meat.
We are saddened. Over in the next bay a fisherman has drowned. I’m shocked and disheartened. The landscape that looked so beautiful is also desolate. It’s a reminder to respect nature. All this will still be here long after we’re gone. Suddenly, I feel quite insignificant.
We’re back on the road and headed home. I think I must be Spanish – or I might have been in a previous life. My friend, who is South American, is teaching me words for colours, numbers, and animals. Las vacas negras y las ovejas blancas en los campos. We cross fields of canola, bush-fire-burnt trees and sign posts for mine sites. Still can’t say all that in Spanish.
It is almost dark when we cross Kambalda – the home stretch, according to my companion. I’m tired but still enthusiastic. There’s this odd twitchiness around my mouth. A smile? Ah yes, now I know what this is. I’m happy.
Interested in the French version? Watch “L’amour est bleu” sung here.
For the many lovely photographs, I thank my friend, el géologo.