When Phil first suggested doing the Busselton Ironman I thought it would be a perfect excuse to finally see Esperance.  I'd seen many pictures of its because Solar Turbines runs the power generation facility for the town and the promotional pictures of that site always show beautiful turquoise beaches with kangaroos lounging on the white sand.  I knew Esperance would be gorgeous, and the rest of the amazing places we saw along the way were just salted caramel mixed into the already delicious dark chocolate.
I wish this was my picture :(
Before heading to Esperance we had to explore the sites of Albany, namely The Gap and Natural Bridge.  The Bridge is a rock formation that was created when the intense waves pulverised the rocks below the formation, and The Gap was created when a former rock bridge crumbled.  The size of these rock formations was enormous, pictures don't really show the true scale.  Most remarkable about this place is the rocks are a direct match with rocks on the North coast of Antarctica, another humbling reminder of how old this world really is.
Natural Bridge
The Gap
After Albany we had a very boring 4 hour drive East to Esperance.  There was 1 "town" along the way and a whole lot of nothing in between.  Phil was not so impressed with this part of Australia.  I was just happy I had my kindle full of books handy.

Another thing that attracted me to visit Esperance was the Pink Lake, which I had seen pictures of on Pinterest.  We even stayed at the Pink Lake Caravan Park right near the lake.  I was very excited to see such a sight.
Pink Lake
Then we got to the lake and this is what it looked like.  Phil laughed at how disappointed I was.  I kept trying to pretend it was pink but it just looked like an ordinary blue lake.  I even showed Phil the picture I saw online.  He laughed again and pointed out that it wasn't even the same lake - the one above was right next to the beach and had no road around it.  He made a good point.  I started looking into it further and while many websites were still convinced this was THE Pink Lake in Esperance, I finally found out that the actual pink Pink Lake was on an island a two-hour helicopter ride off the coast of Esperance.  What a bummer.  It's a good thing I didn't go to Esperance just for the Pink Lake.  I did hear from some coworkers later though that at times the lake does take on a distinctively pink hue, but nothing quite like the picture above.
The Other Pink Lake
My disappointment was short lived though because further down was Eleven Mile Beach, another one of those gorgeously amazing Australia beaches that makes me drool and silences us both with its wonder.  The waves crashed against an underwater rock wall several meters out creating a calm, clear pool that ended at the beach.  Some of these waves were huge but the rocks would just swallow their power.  We sat for awhile here just taking in the beauty.
Giant wave at Eleven Mile Beach
I call this jacket my Australia beach camouflage
Eleven Mile Beach
The pool at Eleven Mile Beach
Phil needs a longer arm!
The following morning we took the 40 minute drive to Cape Le Grande National Park.  This is the location of Lucky Bay, the place generally seen in those kangaroos-lounging-on-the-beach pics.  We did spot some kangaroo tracks on the beach, but since we arrived later in the morning the roos were all happily napping in the bushes.  At least most of them were, Phil ended up startling one when he went to water the bushes.  This was another place that we had to sit for awhile and take in.  The white sands surrounded the bay and the water was such a pretty colour.  
Roo Tracks on the sand
Phil making his own tracks on the sand
Lucky Bay
For lunch we had a picnic on the rocks overlooking Hellfire Bay.  Yet again the water colour was stunning.
Hellfire Bay
I'm sure you're probably tired of beautiful beach pictures by now, so here's one of the cute little lizard that wanted to join us for lunch.
 At this point I realised that I was quickly becoming extremely sunburned and it was time to run for cover.  It's probably a good thing we had cooler weather the previous days of our trip - go figure, the first day I wear shorts I get fried.  I can thank my dad for that wonderful genetic trait.  We drove back to Esperance and I anxiously waited to see just how pink I would end up.
Christmas Tree in Cape Le Grande National Park 
The rest of the afternoon I sat in the shade, reading and pouting while Phil gave me knowing looks for always nagging him about wearing sunscreen and then not wearing enough myself.  Nothing a bottle out aloe and an ice cream can't distract from though.

By this point I was pretty disappointed that we hadn't seen any roos on the beach, and so in an effort to cheer me up and distract me from the burn, we got a take away pizza and drove the 40 minutes back to Lucky Bay to see if we could catch any critters on the beach at sunset.  Sadly they must have been shy that day but we did enjoy our view of the sunset.
Sunset on Lucky Bay
After a tour of Esperance Power Plant the following morning, it was time to finish up the trip with a stop at Wave Rock not he way back to Perth.


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