Arriving in Esperance we were met with the same rain and cold which had accompanied us most of the way from Wave Rock. The priority was to set up and get dinner going, both because we were hungry and also because the stove is so effective at heating the little camper up (helped by the five warm bodies too).
After a couple of showers the next morning, the day developed into a beautiful one - clear skies, plenty of sunshine and not much wind. We walked from the caravan park into town to do some birthday shopping for Alice and check the place out. Sal received a text from some friends we'd met back in Margaret River; Brendan, Inga, Ava, Henry and Finn from Brisbane. They were also in Esperance and we arranged to catch up, though it took a few attempts. By the time we got ourselves organised to get to the lunch spot (Twilight Beach, apparently voted Australia's best beach in 2006) they had moved on because of the flies. We enjoyed the view at the beach, choosing to eat our lunch in the car, and watching everyone else constantly swatting.
We managed to meet up with them back at Adventureland, near our caravan park. The name suggests a little more than the reality. All the kids were happy to play on the park equipment and in the timber maze for most of the time. They also took a $3 ride on the little train which ran through the park. After parting ways (and agreeing to catch up the next day) Sal took Pip and Alice down to the beach for a swim - brrr!
Today was Alice's birthday - six already! The day started with present opening and then Sal producing another wonder in the Weber - a perfect birthday cake. We're wondering if we'll get rid of the oven when we get home... On another glorious day, we then headed out a little way east of Esperance to Cape Le Grand national park and met up with Brendan and Inga and family at Lucky Bay. Another stunningly beautiful beach where we ate lunch and then chatted as the kids played. The water looked so alluring that even though it was very cold, Pip and I went in for a swim.
On the way back to town, we tried to find a spot we'd read about where there were meant to be good dunes for sand boarding. We only found one smallish dune and the boxes we'd grabbed from the bin behind Woolies in town didn't work at all. Fortunately Brendan and Inga had a boogie board which worked a treat and we all took turns until the wind started whipping the sand into our faces.
Heading back into town we ended a great birthday day with dinner at Dome Cafe - a franchise that seems unique to WA.