FIVE WEEKS AT LUCKY BAY CAMPGROUND-PT 2
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
322Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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We settled into a routine of duties, social activities and rest and recreation at Lucky Bay as camp hosts.
The weather was mostly cool and overcast; strong winds whipped in from all directions and winter woollies were kept on hand and often worn. We did have sunny hours here and there but the conditions change so fast you have to grab the opportunity to get out to the beach or put chairs in the sun right now or else……….. The bay changed so much with the weather and the huge skies put on fine shows of different clouds and colour.
Kath was up at dawn which was 4.30am down here and would stroll along the beach and check the camp ground for yesterday's late arrivals and "illegals" camped in day use areas. She tells the story of very surprised expressions on the faces of international travellers/backpackers when she tapped on their van at 5 am to ask for fees and remind them that ”no camping” meant just that, and would they mind paying camp and entry fees right now and then moving on to the camp ground. One time their wake up alarm went off as Kath was collecting their money; just missed out on leaving the national park without paying!!! Their plan is to pull in late at night and drive out early the next morning and so get a free camping experience!!!
Generally the hundreds of campers we dealt with were honest, happy and well behaved. It was interesting to see tired stressed people arriving after a long drive, afraid they would not find a site, settle down and chill out by day 2.
We made some new best friends.
When the camp ground was full, some would beg us to find a spot for them and usually we did- there was the loading bay, coach car park and a few nooks and crannies to use as overflow! There were days however when full meant full and we sent them 40 kms away to Dunns Beach. The three FULL signs along the road from Esperance meant little to most people who would come on the chance they might fit in somewhere; risky because it is a long drive back! The 25 caravan bays were home to over 100 people during Xmas/NYear and the tent area house 50+ each day. In 5 weeks we collected $23,000, missing a camper only very rarely.
The “locals” mostly from Esperance impressed everyone with their hospitality to international visitors- Michael found a tiny spot on his cramped site for a German couple with a little baby; Todd took a French couple who had never been fishing way out to sea in his large catamaran and returned with a good catch. Rob saved sites for campervans with nothing to leave behind when they went touring. Everyone happily helped out with flat batteries, low petrol tanks etc.
We discovered that kangaroos are omnivorous, witnessing them eating fish heads, lamb chops and other food scavenged from unwary campers. One camper reported a roadside kangaroo greedily devouring a dead lizard. We still think kangaroos hopping along the beach treating themselves to the fresh water seeping onto shore is a special sight.
The beautiful and busy New Holland Honeyeaters flitted everywhere and came close as they tried to grab insects, mostly flies from our clothing.
Divers visited Lucky Bay seeking photos of the rare and gorgeous leafy sea dragon; we found a dead one but did not have the pleasure of a real life sighting! Fishing was a popular past time with campers and we had our first taste of abalone, nicely barbecued with a spicy sauce.
We enjoyed a surprise Xmas Eve dinner of roast turkey, roast vegies and pudding with brandy custard with Dee and Steve and family who wanted to show their appreciation for us squeezing them in to the camp ground that morning. Ranger Dave joined us and we had a really happy time.
Dave lent us his troupie to explore the park and we chose a gorgeous sunny day to visit Hellfire Bay, Thistle Cove etc. and explore these special places.
The rangers put on a barbeque breakfast for our departure and the new camp hosts for both Lucky Bay and Cape Le Grand Beach camps; it was a gorgeous sunny morning and we all had a great time.
After five busy weeks in this beautful place we packed up on January 2 and headed off on another adventure. We handed over to Tony and Marie who will host the camp for January and said goodbye to our campers and to the rangers; we will probably be back one day!!
This national park is really beautiful with solar showers, water toilets, camp kitchen and barbecues. It's a great holiday destination and everyone who makes it here is overwhelmed by the beauty of the bay and the activities available. Don't miss it!!!