Monthly Archives: August 2013

80 Mile Beach

27/8 – 28/8/2013

It’s another lovely beach along the West Coast of Australia but no swimming here! The tides are very low and very high with fisher men and women hitting the beach and hour before high tide and staying for a couple of hours until it is well on its way out again. The prize is the thread-line salmon but also catch sharks, the occasional stingray and sea snakes have a presence as well. It is quite a site when you see the extremely long beach, you cannot see from one end to the other, and as far as you can, see roughly 5 metres apart, are people fishing. I only saw one fish after it was caught but it was enough to get everyone excited. The tide coming in is mesmerising as it looks similar to a huge crowd in a big rush for the best seats up the front of the pack, tumbling over each other in the rush. Within minutes of standing on dry sand the oncoming waves, which are small, gentle but persistent, are soon lapping at my ankles.
Our biggest challenge here has definitely been the mobile phone service. Each time you need to call, message or put up a blog you have to head to the sand dunes between the beach and the caravan park. Even then you have to be lucky and often just when I have given up and heading back to camp it happens. It’s all about standing in the exact right spot, making sure your facing northeast, holding the phone in a slight upward tilted slant and, of course, have your tongue in the correct position! (In your cheek in this case.)
We still just prefer walking along the beach and collecting shells – yes for all you westpacians your intrepid leader, the guru of applications, the analyser of deals extraordinaire, the workaholic and ‘the boss’ is happily strolling along the beach picking up interesting colourful shells, his biggest ‘priority’ being cowrie shells, and loving it!

Barn Hill Station

25/8 – 26/8/2012. 

Our son had picked this park out for us so we thought we’d give it a go even though it was a bit tense heading down the sandy, dirt, somewhat corrugated road. We also had 3 gates to navigate and quite a line up just to book in. I had decided to pay extra for the 11 amp site so we could run anything we wanted but it seems we were the only ones with ‘inside’ information – thanks to our son. It is a beautiful place, plenty of shade, birds, butterflies and a lovely beach to walk along – its what you would call rustic, natural so we loved it. Shane and I remember our courtship days of collecting shells, beach walking and even find some cowrie shells. (For Shane this is not a relaxing enterprise but more like a competition to find the most cowrie shells and I am happy to say that he is the victor – hands down) As for me I am so happy to be walking on the sand, watching the waves and even a quick dip. There is something special to me about the sea as the bush and Murray River is to Shane. At low tide there are so many shells being washed up that as the waves hit the shore they tinkle as the sea gets drawn back so it sounds like several wind-chimes being ruffled into tune. The cliffs are red dirt such a contrast to the white sand, blue sea and sky. Further around the rocks remind me of layered cakes with thin tiers of various colours. You can see where the waves wash into them taking away the softer layers leaving towers of sculptured rocks piled on top of each other, some eventually giving in to gravity and falling to the sand. It would be a terrific place for a sci-fi film if you wanted the feeling you were on a different planet.
Amp Envy
One of the funnier things of camping here is the issue of amps or power. Like I said we chose the higher amp power but most just ask for a powered site which is 4 amp. Here we are running our air-con, boiling the kettle and watching tv and others couldn’t toast a slice of bread! There is also the ‘Queen’ of the camp who would systematically go around explaining that people could not use anything with an element but to use gas as much as possible – after all she says its what WE all HAVE to do. She would also give advice on how and where they were to put there vans and what power spot they MUST plug into. The ‘queen’ told me, in secret, she had permission to plug into the higher amp power because she was trusted and it stopped others taking advantage of it. (Unofficial guard of the power) All this would have gone relatively unnoticed if we hadn’t decided to,stay another night as my neighbour was hoping to plug in as we moved on. The poor lady had been looking forward to having such luxuries as we – eventually the ‘queen’ said, quite casually, “oh you can plug into mine its a higher amp”. So much for having to suffer like the rest! Definitely a ‘local’, someone who is camped here for a few months rather than days, taking a little advantage of the ‘blow ins’. It was certainly an added entertainment for us transient people who had a good laugh around dinner n drinks and we did really love this camping place and we do hope to return some day – maybe stay long enough to become a ‘local’.