We are having lots of trouble leaving our current camp. It is just a great camp… few public amenities but we don’t require them. There is the cool rolling ocean water, warm white/golden sand and smell of the salt in the air that keeps us here. It’s the peace, the wildlife around us and the entertainment in those who share our day as they come and go. It’s the people who stay and 5 o’clock happy hour, which we are sharing with our fellow campers. It is the freedom of life and the adventure of a country we love.
We are camped up at Cliff Head North, just south of the delightful Port Denison in the beautiful Jurien Bay, a few hours north of Perth. It’s a broad bay with a delightful fishing port that slumbers in these lovely summer days. Best times are at night when the skies are clear of those wispy clouds and the view is gorgeous. The brilliant skies and the proud Southern Cross that greet us each night as it moves across the ink darkness with the glitterati of the night skies, lighting our world in the wonderful shadows of the night.
Out over the Indian Ocean we listen to the constant primeval song in motion as the water roles in over the shores shifting the restless sand. On most nights you can see the lights of what I fancy is an oil rig, and the low golden glow of Dongara and Port Denison on the point north of us.
This is the ‘windy season’ and the wind can whip around the van happily but we are sheltered up against great cliffs, eaten away by the scour of wind, sand and sea. The wind is an entertainment at times as we test our weight against it and then retreat to the ancient shelter of the hovering cliffs. The east wind brings the inland flies and occasionally the bees from the ‘Beekeepers Reserve’ behind us but spending long days inland has seen us acquire a fly-tent which sits neatly under the annex now when the flies and mosquitoes come out. It’s an extra room, a quite corner and a screen from the insects, that at times can become so unbearable. I am learning to love it to death and when we need it… it is a godsend.
I love the beach and the daily arrival of the debris from the ocean, which we explore in our regular strolls, even the smell of the sea grass that is shuffled around the shore edge regularly. Its bright and clean, it harbours and feeds so many as it rearranges itself in the pull of the ocean tide, building the beach in preparation for the crash of more violent waves, a defence in the making.
Even the snails on the windswept grasses and bushes, those that they devour so quickly, are an entertainment and curiosity. It is a delightful world at the edge of the ocean.
We have our sea eagle and her two chicks… bigger than any gull but they watch us each day, growing stronger and more curious. We don’t go too close, if you do mum bird gets quite vocal and warns you back. It is a wild and woolly world of wind and waves at times but it is beautiful to my senses.
On the shore near the crude tin huts of the fishermen we found a pile of old whale bones someone had collected as a curio’… Tuppi our fur-kid didn’t quite know what to make of them and they looked just a bit too big to tackle. I don’t think she could believe the glory of her find and she looked quite disbelievingly at us. Her expression had us in stitches as we watched her debate what to do with her treasure find, in the end she left it in peace to become the shadow of dreams no doubt.
This is the world I love, it changes daily and is crisp and clean. It is any wonder we can’t find the will to leave.
A note on another town and shire doing ‘RV Friendly’ well is Dongara-Port Denison and the Shire of Irwin, about 3 hrs north of Perth. You can find camping information of the shire on the net and their ‘nature based camping’ is supported for 72 hours in any 28 day period. The beachside camps are a delight but the best surf can be found at Port Denison where there are serviced commercial campgrounds right on the beach.
We took advantage of the 24 hr rest-stop located conveniently in town to spruce up, stock up an attend to business as well as have a lovely night out locally. The 24hr rest stop was a wonderful advantage and allowed us time to shop, explore Dongara with the great Heritage Trail map available at the Information Centre; this of their colonial sites and with plenty of time enjoy a meal at the local pub. All thanks to the Irwin Shire for doing it so well… we’ll be back!