He changed his mind! : Shelley Beach Camping

Yesterday morning we packed up early and were on our way by about 8.30 a.m. We wanted to give ourselves the best chance of being able to stay at Shelley Beach. The drive through the Cape Howe National Park to the beach is gravel, fairly corrugated, but we went slowly in low gear and even the steep areas were not difficult in our 2WD.

We found ourselves in a little haven, with a small beach and steep slopes down to a small parking area. There were a couple of places we could have chosen, but we are near one end next door to a van similar to ours, with the only older couple we have seen here. Once we arrived and backed up with our rear doors looking directly onto the sea we decided to stay for a couple of nights, even though it would mean conserving water. It is so lovely and it feels like such a privilege to be able to stay in this lovely spot for a small fee, in our case $14.00 per night for two people. The only facility is one drop toilet. We cancelled our booking at the winery in Denmark.

Surprisingly this spot turned out to be busy during the day, but many cars and campers left by late afternoon. In fact, it has turned out quite easy to stay here. So far we haven’t seen a ranger so that we can pay, perhaps we won’t in the time we are here. The toilet was cleaned out yesterday and is about as good as this type of toilet gets, not smelly and people seem to respect it and not make a mess or steal the toilet brush(it can happen, goodness knows why).

Our friends came in the afternoon and we chatted and I shared my baking tips with the Omnia Oven, making us some muffins, which browned really well, but took about 1.5 hours. I must have had the flame too low. They plan on coming here to camp in early February. They offered us some water, surprisingly they hadn’t used any of the water we collected in Albany on Monday, so we put 10 litres into our tank and filled up a couple of our drinking water containers. We are still frugal with water, but now don’t have to worry about running out.

I opened the back doors and put up the lace curtain as soon as we arrived and the van did not get hot despite being in the direct sun. Good for our solar of course.

In the late afternoon Stephen and I sat outside on our chairs just behind the van where it was shady and cool enough for jumpers. We went for a walk along the sand which was very hard going indeed. There doesn’t seem to be any part of the beach where the sand packs down hard and you sink in at every step, even when close to the waves. It’s a bit rough for swimming, but not everyone is put off and we watched people wrestle with the surf.

The waves were so loud we thought they might keep us awake, but we slept extremely well. This morning we took a walk up to the lookout. There is an overgrown path, but we took advice from our neighbour that we might encounter snakes, so took the road instead. It was only about 2 kms, but mostly steeply uphill, with little shade, so a bit tough for us. Still we made it and had muesli bars at the top to celebrate. We found little patches of shade to rest in.

We’ve now had lunch and a rest, then afternoon tea and are now busy doing stuff, reading, Stephne is keeping a log, and me writing this blog.

It’s windier today than yesterday and we found it was too strong to have both back doors open. But, when it got a bit warm I opened one door for a while, with the lace curtain across, of course. I even sat outside whilst having afternoon tea. We lose the sun here at about 5.20 p.m., but are getting sufficient solar during the day to bring the batteries up to 100%.

Last night we listened to the news conference with MM and the health minister. I didn’t think he would change course from the February 5th opening even though things have changed so much with Omicrom, but he did. The border won’t open to all, but they will expand the list of exemptions. Of course, he is being vilified in the media and lots of people (supposedly local celebrities, but I’ve never heard of them) are complaining. But, It’s commonsense to keep quarantine requirements in place for now, and businessnes that are complaining have obviously not noticed what is happening in the Eastern States with many places having to shut down due to staff shortages and lack of customers.

We have 7 new cases today, so the virus is definitely here, but this way we can hopefully keep the numbers low and not have our contact tracing, listing of exposure sites, and about all, hospitals, overwhelmed. And hopefull we won’t lose any of our family and friends to the virus, which is my biggest concern.

Another nice perk of being here is that we have better internet than at Cosy Corner. We are a bit further from Albany, but out on a headland and that might make the signal a bit better. But we also think it might be due to fewer people using the bandwidth on the tower nearest to us (wherever that is).

It is not possible to book this campsite and so far we haven’t seen the ranger. According to the Wikicamps app we can pay by card. We have our National Parks pass showing on the windscreen.