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Mark Moxon's Travel Writing

Australia: Esperance

Cape Le Grand National Park from the top of Frenchman's Cap, Esperance
The view over Cape Le Grand National Park from the top of Frenchman's Cap

Esperance is a picturesque little town. I had a day to kill there, so I wandered around, just exploring, and I discovered this wonderful little museum packed with seemingly random exhibits. City museums are one thing, with their multiple levels, priceless paintings and mummies from ancient Egypt (it's funny how every museum seems to have something from a pyramid), but little town museums are a different kettle of exhibits altogether, and they're a hoot. This one was typical – an old, disused railway station, with junk scattered everywhere – but I thought it was particularly interesting. I went in there because they had bits of the Skylab space station that fell to earth in 1979 over Esperance, and as a budding space cadet I just had to see them: those things had been in space, man! But there were other bits and bobs that were worth the effort, none more so than the unexpected appearance of a BBC Master Compact on display; this computer was only released in about 1985, when I was using BBC Micros at school, and seeing it in a museum made me feel ancient...

Beautiful Coastline

Bremer Bay, Esperance
The beautiful curves of Bremer Bay

My next destination was Bremer Bay, a tiny coastal town at the western end of the Fitzgerald River National Park (there are quite a few National Parks along the southwest coast). I arrived at Bremer Bay in the dark, after a considerable drive down some evil dirt roads, and pitched my tent in pitch black – something that becomes second nature after doing it every day for over a month.

Point Ann

Mark dancing round St Mary's Inlet
A self-portrait of me dancing round St Mary's Inlet like a madman; it's so flat and empty, it's that kind of place

Having conquered West Mt Barren, I continued down the dirt road from hell to Point Ann, surely the most wonderful beach in the world. Here I was, completely alone, miles from civilisation, and there was this beach going, 'You know you're hot, you know you're sweaty, so go on, jump in,' which is exactly what I did. Nobody on the beach, not a cloud in the sky, endless, squeaky-clean sand... there isn't much more that paradise can offer. I dried out in the sun, got out my guitar and serenaded the sand dunes, something I'd never do if there were any chance of someone actually hearing me. Still, the crabs enjoyed it.

1 Be careful where you repeat this phrase...