Camping

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. – Joseph Campbell.

Another blissful long weekend has passed us by, and I am pleased to say I had a really great experience. I spent two nights camping out with four other girlfriends down at Peppermint Grove Caravan Park. Nestled only 200m from the beach, amongst shady gum trees, we set up camp and had a brilliant time enjoying nature, the beach, and getting away from the stress of city life.

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I didn’t realise how stressed I felt until I felt so relaxed at our new campsite. I just love camping. For me it spells holidays, timeout, relaxation, fun, frivolity and laughter. Unlike my family, I have always loved getting out of the city and getting out to the great outdoors.

My parents were both very hardworking, and never took much time off work. Especially not to go camping or take drives into the wilderness for the fun of it. I am unique to them in this way, and love being out under the stars, amongst the trees, listening to birds, and watching sunsets. What is not to love about these natural pursuits?

Taking time out from our stressful lives is so important. Cherishing the now, enjoying the journey and making the most of mini breaks is crucial to a happy life. Many people I know put off their holiday time. Taking time out to change scenery, reduce stress, and get into nature can work wonders.

Setting off late Saturday afternoon, we made it to camp by early evening. We chose to stay only a few hours outside of Perth, close to the beach, and at a powered campsite. Power was unnecessary as it turned out, most of us chose to turn off all power devices for most of the weekend, which immediately made me feel more relaxed. I came up with the ‘no phone policy’, jokingly, but honestly I know the benefits (don’t we all) of switching off. I chided my friends if I saw them on their addictive little handhelds, stirring them, but hoping they could also pull themselves away from the drug of technology. Mostly it worked! I even forgot to take my phone to the beach one evening and missed photographing an epic sunset. I was gutted, but I took a million photos in my mind and I can still remember vividly the light wisps of red and blue illuminating the sky, and the swimming pontoon in the distant against a calm silvery ocean, just spectacular. It was the ambience I remember too, the calm, the windless night, the openness of the sky, and the relaxed vibe.

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Okay I wish I could have seen the sky like this… how brilliant is this?

We made a bbq on our first night, all sitting around together at our camp table, happy. I cooked up some pork chops and they were soft and tasty and delicious. Besides the food, it was the company I was most happy about. This sense of ‘all being together’ is so nice, it seems so rare for me in my solo life. I cherish these group encounters, and will often bleat out ‘How much fun are we having?’ and spontaneously hug my nearest friend, in a mini surge of love. I really do appreciate the good times.

The next day we rose early to the cacophanic bird cries, crows, magpies, parrots, gallahs, you name it, it was singing, and very loudly. It didn’t bother me at all. I will take bird song and argument, over traffic sounds and babies crying any day! Not long after we were enjoying breakfast and hot brewed coffee. The day was just beginning, and I could not be happier!

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First thing planned was a mini bush walk. With the sun already creating some intense heat we trotted off for a sandy bush walk. Crunching leaves and kicking out sand from my inappropriate shoes, I loved seeing the wild kangaroos bounding happily in the distant, in great numbers. For my Estonian friend it was the first time she had seen a wild kangaroo, adding to the thrill. More birds screeched and twittered above our heads, as we found stray feathers in bright blue hues. Australia really is a beautiful place.

After our walk in the bush we ventured off to the beach, with timeless abandon, my only concern was the intensity of the sun as it was a super hot day. Peppy grove beach is dead calm, aqua blue, and crystal clear. My only complaint were a few lingering stingers, sadly they can ruin any good swim! Luckily, I chose to ignore them on my first day and swam madly out to the deep and cooler water to avoid my chances of being lacerated by the little bastards. We swam around gayly, my European friends appreciating the simplistic beauty of the ocean. We casually swam all the way to the pontoon, resting awhile before diving rewardingly back into the cool refreshing water.

After some time relaxing on beach towels under our umbrella, reading magazines and chatting away, it was time to return to camp for lunch. Oh the simple joys of being on holidays! In the afternoon we decided on a tour around to the local town and a drink at the local pub. We grabbed a few more supplies at the shops and then made our way directly to the beach once again for a sunset picnic. We know how to camp!

With drinks and cheese and olives and an assortment of other delicious snacks, we sat happily on the beach chatting and watching the sunset. A simple activity often neglected in the city. Spending all this delicious time outside soothes my soul and makes me feel awesome.

As the pink and yellow glows transcended to blues to a dark night sky, we star gazed to identify constellations. Dreamily we starred into yonder, a rare quietness descending on on the (dumpster) blanket. I had found the blanket affectionately known as the dumpster blanket, in a popped open charity bin. Sorry for being a criminal but it was the only time I promise. And I must say I have supported clothing charities for years with loads of donations. I just couldn’t resist this giant, colourful, woven, all purpose picnic rug, it literally had my name on it on first glance into the haphazard bin. Anyhow, I digress, the blanket did its job, and the stars were absolutely incredible. One more enticing reason to go camping and get away from those big polluting city lights.

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Sadly we only had a short time away, once we were in camping mode I am sure we could have all stayed on another 86 nights. It was too much fun. The only redeeming agreement was the decision to do it all over again in 5 weeks time! Yay!

Go camping, it will be fun, you may just lose your phone addiction for a days, see some amazing nature, and once again lose yourself in the brilliance of a star filled night sky.

Yours in fun, topless abandonment and nature loving,

Anita xx

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