What a difference a month makes.
We got in Fluffy, revved our engines and drove like complete pros to our known, happy, happy caravan park. Kinka Park here we come! It was perfection. Derek told me to stay in the vehicle and he whipped that puppy into its space like a pro. The applause rang throughout the park and his reputation was known everywhere!!
I resented that everyone appeared to completely overlook my role as passenger in that epic accomplishment.
I have to say, our stay here only confirmed that those people in the park down the road were a serious bunch of whackadoodles. We had learned a hard lesson and barely escaped with our lives. Different kinds of caravan parks appeal to different kinds of people. Those different people are way too different for us to risk ever caravanning with them again. We had to make sure we qualified what we were looking for before we asked anyone about parks. Maybe we even had to stop believing any friends who recommended anything having to do with caravans, which I would just like to say was a lot kinder of me than my original suggestion that we hire a hit man. Derek hid all the phones for … well, I still have no idea where any of them are. OK, I get it. We have to specify that we were neither bed-ridden nor comatose when we ask people for recommendations. We are clearly the “action” part of the grey nomads – those who are able to move without the aid of walkers or scooters.
There we were on the lake, the ocean was a short walk across the road and an awesome little town around the corner! We could hear the waves from our beds at night. The gentle birds graced our little lake. It was so idyllic I kept giving them the signal to release the Renaissance ladies in their pastel gowns to stroll along the edges but clearly, those women are unreliable. Except for the guy who was barefoot, no shirt, with shorts hanging off his hips that wandered to the lake edge, scratched his balls, and wandered back somewhere into the bush, not a single person ever appeared, despite my excellent clapping to demand that they should. I even asked Derek if he would be willing to stroll around the lake a couple of times for me. I said I would make him a nifty sheet/pillow case gown. He did not feel he could do it justice and said he did not want to disappoint me.
So I watched the birds. The ducks tried to just float around in the water and eat a bit, but the water fowls were having none of it. One adult patrolled one end of the lake and the other patrolled the other end. The mother would launch herself like a bat out of hell, lowering her head and racing towards the offending ducks. She would run so fast into the water that she was actually running on top of the water for a portion of the way and then she would streamline her body and torpedo herself at the ducks sending them paddling for shore as fast as their little webbed feet could propel them. But that was not enough ….. Oh no! Then she would herd them far away from the water’s edge, breaking them into manageable groups of a few here and a few there. Her partner was doing the same at his end. Then she would then go and get her chicks for an idyllic stroll along the lake she owned while the partner patrolled the shore. If a duck even looked like he was going to think about heading over towards the water, he was all over them.
Eventually, the little groupings of ducks would merge into one huge duck gang. Yes, they were flocking and everyone knows that no good comes out of flocked ducks. They stood a short distance away from the lake and the male waterfowl discussing a strategy and burning effigies. I watched them huddling, looking up now and then at the situation, muttering profanities at the waterfowl who were thoroughly enjoying their personal lake. Nightfall came and we presumed that once the waterfowl slept, the ducks would be back in that lake like white on rice. I mean they have to swim sometime don’t they? What are ducks without water? Their little web feet would just completely atrophy and dry up and fall off, wouldn’t they? I would like to say we stayed up all night and got the film of the epic duck take back, but alas, I just am not that much of a duck person. David Attenborough called, and he wants his ring back but hey … I got to sleep with Derek!! (with the gentle sound of the ocean waves in the background and the complete absence of anyone bathrooming or having sex)
After a few days, the peacocks showed up. Clearly a much more advanced squad of birds. First, they sent in the Emu to scope out the place.
When he gave the all clear, they appeared. The ducks were hopeful that the waterfowl were about to get theirs. They started to unfurl signs that showed their solidarity with the Peacocks. One of them handed out t-shirts to the others that said, “Peacock’s Rock.” The peacocks walked across the field towards the lake and scoffed at the petty squabble between the ducks and the fowl. They turned their sights on a much bigger prize. The truck. They took it without incident and were last seen enjoying the spoils of their hard fought war, although a Willy Wag Tail showed up and talked some smack at one point. It was basically a big non-event. Meanwhile, the ducks were bitterly gathered around a small bonfire. I noted most of them were now shirtless and the bonfire seemed to be especially high.
What can I say? I was in heaven. Derek golfed. I beached, and I laked, and I wrote, and I relaxed. We cooked and enjoyed what we cooked. We sat in our chairs and watched sunrises and sunsets and enjoyed our coffees and wines. We were caravanners, making it all look so easy, and most of all we rocked at not giving a flying anything about anything.
The campground had all kinds of activities for people. It was all accompanied with BYOB. We were not bothered one iota by their gatherings. The kids swam and played – didn’t bother us at all. Teens pulled up in their two rental vans and got out and had to use the facilities to cook etc and nada. We were as isolated as one could be and we were in a caravan park. Does Australia know how to do things right or what?
Eventually, we will be heading out into the wilderness and the purpose of all our little trips has been to familiarize ourselves with how the caravan works and what we need to be able to have a good time. Once you know how everything works, you can plan for the bigger challenges ahead of us. The big trip will happen 2017 and we are slowly acquiring all the extra things we will need. It is expensive, wow it is expensive. There are so many more things you need to have, besides just the caravan and there are so many things to think of. I am truly grateful for Derek and his detail-oriented brain and misses nothing. But, for the love of god, please do not let him read this paragraph or tell him I said that.
Apart from one incident at the beach when it became alive with little balls with legs rushing to the sea, we were surprisingly subdued. I told Derek about the things that I saw running to throw themselves into the water and presumably drown, warning that out planet was clearly under attack and none of us were safe. He then told me an interesting story about soldier crabs. Not the same thing at all.
I am actually starting to like this caravanning thing. I think I am really good at it. I park that sucker like a dream. I am excellent at sitting around with my feet up and watching sunsets and you should see me drink wine. I think I have pretty much blown Derek away with my abilities. I think he sees like some kind of goddess superhero. I mean, I don’t wear leotards or anything but sometimes when I go to the beach the towel is wrapped around my shoulders like a cape. It blows in the wind and sometimes there is even lightning and thunder. OK, when that happens Derek makes me go back to the caravan. I think it is because he knows he would not be able to carry a dead body all the way back to where we are parked. But hey, one time, this really hard pellet like thing hit my chest . . . and it bounced right off. I can’t prove it was a bullet but I really didn’t look all that hard … it could have been. Derek tried to say it was just a big beetle but I would have screamed if it had been. I have special radar when it comes to bugs.
I am thinking we are going to keep doing this. And I do believe we will win over the masses eventually. Everyone will know us and like us. What is not to like? We will be famous. We will be legends. Maybe not so much with the whackadoodle people at the other caravan park, once they read this blog, but with other people for sure. Anyway, our time at Kinka Beach came to an end and we had to head home but this time, I really did not want to go. Part of it was because we had such a great time and then an even bigger part of it was the idea that I had to unpack everything. I forgot to mention, I hate that part. I am going to hire an unpacker maid. I deserve one of those in my old age.
We drove home and the jacarandas were blooming everywhere. It was like God giving me a gift to say I was awesome and did and excellent job and that Australia loves me. I love Australia too.