This past week we went camping. It was a bit of a last minute decision really, only gave ourselves a few weeks to get ready but it was SO worth it. We (I) needed to get away from the city, from the busyness of life, from people even (sorry!), and be in nature. I’ve always found the natural world to be a place where God meets me, a place of clarity of thought, a place of peace. I knew I didn’t want to go to a holiday park; even though our last experience at one was good, they’re not really a “natural” place or a peaceful place, particularly during school holidays. We wanted to go the Stirling Range because we wanted to do some hiking. At some point leading up to my 30th last year I said to Tim that I wanted to complete something physically challenging in my 30th year. I wanted to set a benchmark for my 30s of adventure and physical fitness. I wanted to focus and achieve a physical goal, although because it was a bit of a last minute decision to go at this time I didn’t really get much training in, unfortunately.
We booked in at the Stirling Range Retreat, not really knowing what to expect, and made numerous lists of what we would need to bring. We have to pack light because of our small car and there’s always something that ends up on the roof. Here’s how tightly packed in we were.
We drove for about 2.5 hours and reached Kojonup which is a lovely little town. We packed a picnic lunch and ate at the park where the girls played and ran around for a while.
Then it was off for another 2 hour drive to the Stirling Range Retreat. The girls travelled well in the car. We had some podcasts/stories that we listened to, they slept some and that was pretty much it. We didn’t bring any DVD/video devices and didn’t need one at all. To you Canadians reading you may be thinking that a 4.5 hour car trip is nothing, to which I would agree, but we rarely drive longer than 30-40 minutes in the car at any one time, so we weren’t sure how the girls would make out. They did well and hopefully we’ll make the trip up to the Ningaloo Reef sometime in the next few years (we may have to upgrade to a 4-wheel-drive for that trip! :))
We arrived at our campsite and first thing we noticed was no grass. We shouldn’t have been surprised really, but it was a bit tricky getting the tent pegs into the hard, dry ground. Growing grass would be such a waste of water in this dry area, so it makes sense. I’m glad we had some good mattresses to sleep on 🙂
The camp ground was spacious and perfectly located close to the Stirling range. It had a great little park and really nice swimming pools. It wasn’t that busy – despite being school holidays – and had a great communal kitchen area, and clean bathrooms/showers – as long as you don’t mind a few bugs…
That first evening after our swim and supper we watched the sun set behind the mountains and knew that we had made the perfect choice for our holiday.
Sometime in the next few days we’ll write a post specifically about hiking Bluff Knoll, which was the centrepiece of our trip. Until then, hope you’ve enjoyed this look into our holiday.