Growing up in multicultural Holland, Irma has always been keen on exploring the world.She backpacked her way through Europe, Asia, Central America, Australia & New Zealand for several years, before staying put in Alice Springs Australia for a while. ...Find out more!
Peeking out of my tent to see how the ocean is today … Yeahhhhh … Blue calm ocean water with some waves gently running onto the clean sandy beach … Let’s get out there and enjoy all we can!
I wake up Chris, who is still sound asleep in the swag* … and look at Spud, our 15 year old dog, who is already wagging his tail fiercely … Spud knows! Opening that tent zipper means another day in paradise!
Not a heap of shade!
Yesterday we decided to put up the tent, as there is little shade at the campground where we are staying. And as the mosquitoes were kind of bad, sleeping just in our swag would have meant lots of repellent or just being eaten alive, and both did not seem a good option.
However … not so much shade, was resolved by buying a few colorful umbrellas and straw hats. And mosquito coils definitely did the trick. Times are good at the quiet and beautiful bush campground in Lipson Cove right on the beach on the South Australian Coast.
Outside our tent we find the campsite as we left it last night. Empty wine bottle, glasses, flashlight, scrabble and mosquito coils. “Will we go for a run before breakfast?” asks Chris. We have been going for a run every morning since we arrived here and it is just gorgeous to be running on the cliffs and through the fields with the ocean in view at all times. “Yes, let’s definitely go for a run …” I answer.
Spud loves hanging out in paradise too.
We tell Spud that we are going for a run and we put his blanket in a shady place. I look over the campground to the very few other campers that are there, and am reassured that everyone has met Spud and they know that he is old, kind and that he belongs to us.
We start with slowly going up the steep hill that brings us high up to the fields overlooking Lipson Cove, the cliffs and the ocean. And then we are going full swing down the straight country road. Chris is wearing his cap, as although the sun is low this early in the morning, it is already quite strong. Slowly but surely I pull away from Chris and run to a silo in the field. Once at the silo, I turn around and notice that Chris must have fallen behind quite a bit, as I do not see him. I keep running back down the road until I get around a corner and see Chris already going back in the direction of Lipson Cove.
Lizards, brown snakes and dolphins - wildlife aplenty.
When I catch up with him he seems flustered and he starts telling me how he was running with his cap over his eyes and suddenly encountered (nearly stepping on) a brown snake that was crossing the road. This snake had struck at his legs but luckily enough was not able to bite him. “Imagine if I would have been bitten, it would have taken us at least two hours to get back to civilization to get help …” This is Australia and snakes and spiders are a given. However, during all the years of living in Alice Springs, in the middle of the wilderness, we had never really encountered any scares with these so called dangerous animals that Australia is known for.
We walk back to camp and there we find Spud rather restless and he seems even more excited than ever to see us coming back. We wonder “Did something happen to him? He acts so very different than he normally does”
We made some eggs with vegetables and cut up some fruit for breakfast and tidied up the campsite a little so all was clean and organised. Whilst dealing with the fishing rods, which were standing next to where Spud's blanket was laying, Chris all of a sudden takes a jump backwards. There in the higher grass, was a brown snake that seemed to have fed on some little animal, possibly a mouse. Maybe that was why Spud was on edge when we came home.… The brown snakes are definitely out today.
After breakfast we changed into our swimsuits and grabbed the fishing rods, the umbrellas, a cooking pot with drinking water for Spud, our swimming towels and an eski* with water and sodas, and we head out for the ocean.
The island is just a hop, skip and a jump away
Right in front of Lipson Cove is an island to which you can walk during low tide. And if you make sure to be back before the high tide sets in, the fishing is great on the back side of the island. So we leave most of our gear on the beach and wade over to the island. Spud is all excited but a bit apprehensive … I suppose being born and bred in Alice Springs makes you a desert dog, and desert dogs are probably not that used to the ocean … And as Spud is a little older, I do not want him to come into a predicament of having to swim all the way back. He obviously does not stand as tall as we humans do, so I decided to let Chris do his fishing and for Spud and I to return to the beach to set up for the day. We were totally alone on this beautiful white soft sandy beach and we could pick any spot we wanted. Being born in Holland where sunny days are scarce and where beaches are overfull when the sun is out, this is just such an amazing experience. Being alone on a beach that big and beautiful just seems unreal.
The beach to ourselves - paradise
I give Spud some water in our cooking pot and have a soda myself. Spud and I hang out for a while and I wave at Chris whenever we see him appearing somewhere on the island. Suddenly we see movement in the water and we see fellow campers running onto the beach … A pod of dolphins has come into the shallow waters of the cove for a play and they are having a great time. Everyone is in awe … Dolphins seems to do this to people - they somehow capture the imagination with their happy and playful behavior. Spud and I keep watching these beautiful animals until they turn around and disappear in the distance.
After a while we see Chris heading back for the mainland, and the water has already risen quite a bit. He is walking with his hands full and trying to keep them above his head. The water is now reaching the middle of his chest. Spud and I decide to walk towards him to help him carry everything back to camp. Spud and I admire the four salmon that Chris has caught and we are all exited for what will be coming next.… As after spending some more time on the beach, we will fry these fish and have these for dinner with some more vegetables and fruit.
We then will be drinking some more wine, burn mosquito coils, play some more scrabble and retire for the night, so we are ready for another day in paradise.
Our spaceship - perfect for camping trips
*swag is an Australian bedroll comprising of a mattress within a large canvas sleeping bag with a zipper from top to bottom. In this swag you can put a sleeping bag or blankets and pillows and you lay these on the ground to sleep in. There is also an extra piece of canvas attached to the top of the swag, which can be used to cover your head just in case of wind or rain.
*eski is a cool box or a bag that is used to keep drinks and food chilled with ice blocks.
Check out Outback Travel Shop for one of the many tours from Adelaide or tours from Perth that cover the coast of South and Western Australia on which you will have similar experiences as described above.