PARRY'S- A SHADY & SOCIAL SEASIDE CAMP
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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JOURNEY: Walpole to Parry's Beach-
MILEAGE: 34897 KM
WEATHER: 18 degrees at 8am, sunny
Our intention was to get to Parry's Beach campground, mid week to settle ourselves for the long weekend before the crowds ascended on the place.
People had told us that Perth inhabitants drive the 400kms south to cool down after a summer of very high temperatures and when we called the coastal caravan parks all except one were fully booked and this indicated to us that our only chance was to get into Parry’s where bookings are not taken- just first in first sited!!!
We visited Boat Harbour camp ground on our way, to check the big rig sites for Sarah and John; it was a large paddock with some tall karri trees and had plenty of space. It was far from the beach and dry, but if they needed somewhere for the long weekend this would be good.
Matt and Kylie had given Parry’s the thumbs up, spotted us on arrival and led us to one of a few vacant sites; it was good to catch up with them again and our site was shady and quite lovely; the only negative- were our solar panels getting enough sun?
On this bright and sunny day, Parry’s was gorgeous- a mini Lucky Bay and we found Jean, the caretaker for 40+ years, and paid our $7 per site per night and considered this a mighty bargain for a place on the beach, spacious and nestled into lovely peppermint trees.
We left items to show our new site was ours and our neighbours Di and Brian told us they would keep an eye out for us because we had to drive onto Denmark to stock up on groceries. It is a pretty town on a river and has an award winning bakery that won us with its pies!!
The next morning we decided to move the van across the site to catch some more sun and well we got well and truly bogged in the sand, mainly because Sheila had only a tight area to manipulate the vehicle because of the trees. At one stage Kath got the caretakers to cut back some of the branches and by that time, Matt, Brian, Lyle, Stewart etc volunteered to assist; back and forward, left and right; blocks of wood, bits of carpet, brute strength, and in the end the team effort got a good outcome. Let me tell you it got a bit scary a few times but it ended well and with the help of a departing camper, we found a much better site and happily stationed ourselves there. If we were ever going to bog, this was the place to do it- everyone was so helpful and sympathetic and we made some new friends.
A local farmer supplied fresh produce daily- green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, butternut, watermelon, sweet corn, figs etc; cheap, delicious and sooooo fresh. It is rare to get food direct from the farm and it is special. the fish van visited Parry's on Saturday and we bought a kilo of delicious squid that the Thompsons prepared abd barbequed on their little Weber- yummy!
Next to the campground was an area licensed and leased for 60 years by a family where they stayed from February to April to net seasonal WA salmon and, during our stay mullet which they sold for $2 each. The whole campground rushed to the beach when the "spotters" made their call and those who helped haul in the catch were given free fish!
The only food items missing were fresh bread and ice-cream, the latter available from the Toffee place a short distance away and the ice-cream’s reputation and praises spread quickly through the camp. We of course had to get one and happily agreed that the reports were not exaggerated.
We noticed an overflow parking area by the camp and advised Sarah and John that they may have a chance of setting up there for the long weekend; they did and we all including the Telfords had a happy reunion on the beach, swimming, and playing cricket on this glorious day. The five kids had a great time together.
The Full sign was up on Friday at the camp’s entrance but arrivals still tried to squeeze in somewhere and some sites were very cramped.
The John Butler ( of the John Butler Trio fame) mystery kept everyone buzzing- “it is, no it’s not”. “His” group first caught our attention because it is so rare to find campers on the ground- everyone seems to have chairs and tables and they were camped without these items. At one stage “no” was the go but then finally John Butler was positively identified; fans were walking by surreptitiously glancing into his camp, but he did not respond to growing interest in him. Matt even got to chat with him about schooling children on the road, which Matt and Kylie are doing.
Saturday night found us all on the caretaker’s lawn enjoying a jam session with Del, his wife and the didgeridoo player, Duncan; some problems with the sound system didn’t put the appreciative crowd off.
A really positive aspect of Parry’s was the social interaction of all the campers and over the long weekend new pals were made and happy groups formed. The didgeridoo gained popularity and new fans tried their skills at it; Joe got pretty good.
Sunday night a special event occurred on our site; The Telford and Thompson children set up a tent to have a “sleepover” under Sheila’s care. Well it was a big deal, mattresses, quilts, pillows and soft toys all walked into the tent and the five children got themselves organised. They were so excited and enjoyed a bonding session in the tent before separating for dinner and then returning for the night. We could hear them giggling and chatting but by 9pm, tiredness, after an eventful day got the better of them and silence reigned.
Meanwhile John got a fire going for us to warm up on this chilly night, the adults enjoyed after dinner drinks under the dark starry sky and returned to their camps- childless.
Kath climbed out of bed at 5.30am for sunrise and the children awoke around 6am but stayed under quilts, chatting until hunger got the better of them around 7.30 and it was back to the home-site for breakfast. A good time was had by all!
The 4x4 track to Hillier Beach from Parry was a good walk for us and we appreciated the lack of people and beautiful vistas there.
Parry’s has been a happy and eventful experience in one of the prettiest and cheapest camps we have encountered and we stayed 5 nights here.