This time it was a Dads and lads (plus Audrey) camping affair - three of the other Dads who had come on our camping trip to Wee Jasper last October plus a 'new' Dad - Simon - who brought with him an excellent sense of humour and most importantly of all an absolute stack of top-notch camping equipment for us all to share!
We headed to the delightful Merry Beach.
I don't think I will ever tire of Australia's beautiful beaches. Growing up in England I was satisfied with beaches in Wales and Scotland (some of which are scenically beautiful - if you can enjoy them through the rain) or Brighton (covered in pebbles), or Bournemouth (covered in dog shit) - both of which get jam-packed with people when the Mercury touches anything past 17 degrees C and people dash southwards to the coast and the Sun once again typesets out its 'Hotta than the Costa' headlines.
I do actually think Britain has an amazing coastline, you just have to be lucky, both with your timing and location to really enjoy it. The lack of people in Australia combined with the vast coastline though makes things different here, where even the laziest holiday-maker can find some serene white-sanded beach with 2 other people on it.
Anyway enough of that. Merry Beach where we camped was (unsurprisingly) another one of those lovely beaches. We pitched our tent within yards of the sand. Merry Beach prides itself on the amount of wildlife (particularly kangaroos) which live there. In addition to the kangaroos there were so many parrots, wading birds and the odd lizard. I also encountered my first personal close hand knowledge of a leech which stuck to the back of my leg during an afternoon walk and left a bleeding wound when I yanked it off and chucked it into the bush. I think (from Clint Eastwood films) you're supposed to burn them off with a cigar but as we were all non-smokers we didn't have one handy.
Our two nights were spent on the beach and enjoying a lovely (aside from the leech) cliff top walk. The friendly kangaroos came to see us in the evening as we sat chatting with beers - the kids tucked into bed in the tents. A few kangaroos tore up guy-ropes during the night as they hopped past our tents.
The kids had a great time. It's good getting in groups as the kids pretty much entertain themselves. Amy got a rest at home and I got to have a couple of nights having man-chats and drinking beer and a particularly harsh Scotch liqueur one of the chaps had had since 1995 or something which he brought along.
It was good fun and I'm sure our camping adventures will continue.
|Sparklers at sundown|
|The early morning view from our tent|
|Eli looking out|
|Audrey looking into the sun|
|The kids getting ready to pelt me with water bombs (while I try and get them to pose for a picture!)|
|Our well equipped shelter (thanks Simon!)|
|Beautiful Merry Beach|
|Audrey and Rohan make a "sand-head"|
|stepping out for our cliff walk|
|Around the headland|
|The camping gang|
|more friendly kangaroos|
|The "prawn man" came on Saturday night and sold us the fattest tastiest prawns I've ever tasted - Eli liked them too!|