[phone rings; of course we have a hands free setup] … hg speaking … hi, how are you going? … good mate, thanks … where are you now? … on the road, heading towards esperance … the caravan is going well? … yeah, pretty good, no complaints … listen, i suggest you get something checked … ok, what would you like me to get checked … those wheel bearings we put i for you before you left? you might want to get them checked … really? they are brand new, should be good right? … um, we may have accidentally put the wrong bearings in … oh. but shouldn’t the wheels wobble like crazy? … maybe … so, we are kind of on a schedule, we need to get to the caravan park before it closes. can we get them checked later, say in perth? … i’d like you to book the van in right away. i can find a mechanic for you if you want me to … uh oh, sounds kid of urgent … it might be …

not the kind of call one wants to get after driving half way across the continent. but how bad could it possibly be?

pretty bad, actually. the guys had installed an outer bearing that was a size too small and didn’t support the hub at all. so the inner bearing – see above – took the brunt of the weight, about a ton each side. and since the outer bearing offers lateral support, or rather: should have but didn’t, the wheel was wobbling around on the inner bearing. that’s not what a bearing should look like and a trailer wheel should also not have about 2 cm play at the edge. good thing we found a workshop that agreed to exchange the bearings on the last working day before the easter long weekend. so all in all it appears like we were incredibly lucky. we did more than 8.000 km on bearings that could have collapsed at any moment. looks like we should buy a lotto ticket …

in the meantime we’re stuck in esperance and i know for certain there are worse places to be stuck. lots of places in fact.

this is the quintessential esperance photo: bright white sandy beach, turquiose water and a kangaroo calmly lazing on the beach. it’s on the esperance web site, on the wall of the tourist information center, there are postcards with this picture, mouse pads, towels, fridge magnets – you name it they got it. but we didn’t pirate the photo, we took it ourselves. want proof?

ok we know it’s not a good idea to pat a wild animal but these guys looked anything but wild.

lucky bay. another link to our friend matthew flinders (remember, the guy who first circumnavigated australia and suggested the name as well) again: he found refuge here after a summer storm. with all the bays, coves, beaches, points, mountains etc i am sure i would have run out of names half way around the place. i think he did really well as it is.

i doubt he enjoyed the view of the rocks as much as we did. by the sounds of it he felt lucky to escape crashing into any of the many islands just off the shore.

simply stunning.

just to the west of it is thistle cove. the name does not refer to the plant. our mate matthew flinders struck again: he named the bay after a crew member who managed to find water here. not the salty variety of course.

kris can never resist the opportunity to capture a great collection of stones.

just next to another fantastic white beach.

frenchman peak, another example of the granite many of the features along the coastline are made of. this part of the coastline has been above the waterline for the last 200 million years and has remained a home for many species.

looking back towards esperance.

and since we were making a pitstop anyway i also replaced the display of the charger. the poor thing had a close encounter with a sharp object in the boot (where it lives). liquid crystal displays don’t like that sort of abuse. anyway, it’s fixed now.