Amazing Grace?

After Albany the plan had been to head to Esperance, some 700kms away. With the weather starting to turn and the fact that it’s really only beaches out that way, we made the decision to head back inland on our way back to Perth.

Karen identified Hyden – home of the famous Wave Rock as our next stop, but accommodation was full. Not to worry, we would find somewhere nearby. The whole area is known as the Wheatbelt and is dotted with towns. One of the ones nearby would do.

  • Kulin – Full
  • Corrigan – not that great
  • Brookton – Too far away
  • Kukerin – No where to stay!

Lake Grace was next on the list. Finding a motel John dialled the number. An Irish accent answered the phone, Ollie from Fermanagh. He couldn’t take us in as he would away in Perth for the night. Then in a moment of pure randomness asked where I was from with that accent.

“I’m from Cork boy” John proudly boasted.

Suddenly things changed. Ollie’s mother was from Cork. He would leave a key for us for one of the rooms and we were to just leave the money on the bed on our way out. Result!

The drive from Albany to Lake Grace was stunning, the road was surrounded by vast stretches of golden wheat fields. The journey took us right through the Stirling Mountain Ranges and past a number of salt lakes – the largest is where Lake Grace gets its name from.

 

Arriving at lunchtime we drove into a small rural town. We could just about hear the duelling banjos above the air con!

 

Suddenly things changed. Ollie’s mother was from Cork. He would leave a key for us for one of the rooms and we were to just leave the money on the bed on our way out. Result!

 

We parked the car outside the deserted motel, the moment of truth had arrived… An envelope with my name on it was in the letterbox! A key tucked inside.

The room was small but perfect with a TV, fridge and microwave. We made a quick lunch before heading out to do some exploring.

We drove north to the main Lake , Lake Grace. This is one of the largest inland salt lakes in Australia and in the sunlight it was a shade of pink.

In town we got some things in the local IGA before popping into the Lake Grace Hotel Bar for some Midi’s. The bar was being propped up by some Good ‘Ol boys who quickly gave us some tips for our journey. One of them told us to check out the fair on at Beverley, a small town nearby. We also found out that it was the first day of sheep shearing that year. Local Banter at its best.

The rare oddity in the town was the female American backpacker working in the bar. Someone had told her it was near Perth and worth checking out!

Lake Grace was a very small town! The only thing it’s famous for is that it is the location of the only remaining Australian Inland Mission (AIM) Hospital in Western Australia. The site is now a museum.

An early night was in store as we still had a 400km journey to do the next day to get to York via Wave Rock.

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