Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Parry Beach and How External Factors Can Make or Break Any Stay.

It was with tractor chains and a fair bit of screaming that we managed to extricate our daughter from Nana and Poppy's grasp when the latter duo finally finished their tour with us. Marguerite had been sleeping in the White Mansion for pretty much Mum and Dad's entire visit, being indulged in (almost) every whim and generally having the time of her life without the pesky intrusion of parents or a sibling... It was a sunny day when the tears fell, the tantrums began and the oft cried "Poh-ie! Na-na! Poh-ie?" were heard around camp until our children realised that the golden days of the grandparents were behind them for the moment and it was back to the United States of Mum and Dad. Yes, they were trying times.
Looking for grandparents at Parry Beach.
Having my parents around for 10 days had been great (even if their Britz motorhome was simply an enormous white mechanical lemon) and whilst their visit had buoyed us all for the remaining few months of our trip, their departure also meant our time in Western Australia was almost done. It was nearly time to head East once and for all. But not yet...
Coastline goodness.
 We had wanted to take Mum and Dad to Parry Beach, an almost-free camp just southwest of Denmark, but the motorhome had been too big for this treed area, so we backtracked here after our second and final stop in Albany.

When we stayed at Parry Beach the weather was OK; there'd be a dump of rain followed closely by sunshine and wind, just enough to dry everything out for a few hours, then the process would repeat itself. So we'd get a few good hours per day to look around this little part of the Great Southern along with a fair bit of indoor curse-the-weather time.
Calm seas=fishing off the side for...? Back to lean times in the Uys huis. Sausages again.
The camp itself is quite organic in that people find a spot in between the trees and set up pretty much where they like. It was West Australian school holidays when we stayed, so despite the weather it was fairly busy, but we managed to nab a spot away from everyone else by chocking the camper up on a Leaning Tower of Logs on the side of a slope. There were other, flatter sites, but we like to have a snoring buffer at the very least if we could help it, and there was definitely not enough space amongst the tents and campers for that to happen.
Beautiful Parry Beach.
Parry Beach is also a Council run park, so it's incredibly cheap ($10 per night).

The beach out the front is lovely, with a heap of rockpools and crabs slow enough for the kids to catch. We met some locals who were also camping and the kids played while we chatted. The Bibbulman Track runs through the campsite. We managed to walk a part of the track, a few kilometres west amongst some beautiful wildflowers with vistas out to the coast and met a couple of blokes who were 40 days into the track. They looked slightly crazed and emaciated but then I suppose you would if you'd been walking at least 10 hours per day for well over a month. (I was already re-thinking my need to return in a few years and do the track myself... might just walk the Margaret River wine trail instead. Or drive it. Probably just drive.) They only had another 70kms or so to go before they got to Albany and had a lie down for a long long time.
Bibbulman Track markers and Marguerite dragging her feet.
So we'd had OK weather, had a reasonable camp spot and had had some lovely interactions with our fellow campers and the natural environs. We wanted to move on but were happy to wait for a dry morning before we packed up and scooted out of there.

We recommended Parry Beach to the Doves, who subsequently planned to stay for a week or so... until they camped right next to bogans who made the cast of Breaking Bad look well-to-do and it bucketed with rain the whole time. So they packed up after a night and moved on, never to return.

We met another family doing a similar trip to us and discussed Parry Beach, which they adored and stayed at for "only" a week having a sunny flat camping spot surrounded by like-minded families with kids the same age and wonderful weather.
Coastal forests and the view back to Parry Beach and Denmark.
Which brings me to perhaps the best part of camping for more than a week or two at a time- if you're not feeling wonderful in a camp spot,you can just move on to the next. And if it is great, stay stay stay. Of course  the down side is that if it does rain, you can't just pack up and head for your warm bed in your dry house. And the Uyshuis was starting to want just that: Our warm dry house. Let the Homesick Games begin!

The Bibbulman Track.

A tiny orchid we found on the track.

Some perspective, the orchid is just above Marguerite's knee on the right.


And more.

And more.

And more!

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