Adventures in the Sherwood: goannas galore!

Friday 11th to Tuesday 15th November, 2022 – Dunsborough Songfest and Contos Campground

We stopped for a while at the Busselton Foreshore for a coffee. We did this last year as well, but the weather was a little cold this time, with a sharp wind. It was the coolest weather we have ever experienced for a Dunsborough Songfest.

Stephen’s choir, The Real Sing, had four appearances at the Dunsborough Songfest, starting with the ‘taster’ concert on Friday night at Our Lady of the Cape Primary School. This gave us a chance to see many of the groups that were to perform throughout the weekend and decide if there were any we really needed to see. When we pulled into the parking area there was another Suncamper Sherwood already there, which we did not see again during the Songfest.

We wore our masks most of the weekend when we were with other people, but not at the social gathering of the choir on Saturday evening. They had ordered Thai takeaway and we were glad to have this option for a meal, but didn’t quite realise how hard it would be to don masks afterwards in a group of people who were not wearing them. We mostly stayed seated on a coach near the open sliding door and hope this was enough.

There was much more singing than conversation happening, with two bases standing over other seated choir members. By Tuesday morning both of the bases, who stand with Stephen for singing, had tested positive for COVID. Stephen was the only one wearing a mask whilst singing for all of the concerts. He wears a black mask for performances and he looks quite trendy. But we hope it’s more than just a good look, that it has actually provided him with protection, despite the waning immunity from our vaccinations.

Singing in the Catholic Church. The man in the mask is Stephen

After their last singing engagement on Sunday afternoon we were free to escape to Contos. But first we went to the Goanna Cafe just out of Dunsborough. We sat on a verandah next to an opening in the blinds. We were delighted that a goanna decided to join us briefly for a snack from the floor. We also had a little chat with Matt whilst waiting for our food.

At the Goanna Cafe
Our spot at Contos Campground

Then we followed Google Maps directions to our campsite. Contos Campground is in the Boranup National Park near Margaret River. Google took us on a back way that included a gravel road on our way to the highway. We stopped in Margaret River for some fruit, etc. All this meant that we arrived at our campsite quite late. The camp host visited us shortly after we arrived to confirm our booking.

A lone folding chair marks our spot whilst we went to the beach

The spot we chose was opposite the rustic toilets that had a little basin with a tap. The camp host said that the water was rain water from the roof of the toilets, probably not drinkable, but suitable for washing our hands and dishes. We then settled in for the evening.

In the morning we drove down to the Conto Springs beach. The road wasn’t ‘4WD only’, but I definitely felt more confident driving along it with our high ground clearance and good tires. We spent most of the day there, taking a little walking trail to the beach and enjoying the fresh air and views.

Stephen took advantage of the very clean drop toilet there, which was a good as the toilets at our campground. Thankyou to the management who make sure these toilets are so clean and fresh.

Toilet at Conto Springs Beach

I encounted a couple of goannas on the way back to the Sherwood for lunch. One stayed perfectly still, pretending to be a branch perhaps. The other flattened itself on the ground for a while before marching off into the bushes.

The goanna branch
If I lay flat she might not notice me.
Waddling off into the bushes

We didn’t wait for sunset as we wanted to drive back in daylight. We left a little camping chair to mark our spot as new people arriving are allowed to choose any free site and we really wanted to stay in the same place.

We drove home on Tuesday, sharing the driving pretty much 50/50. We called in to see Robyne who hasn’t been well for a while and has lost weight. She is a bit torn as to how to feel as it’s good to lose weight, but not good to feel ill for quite a long time. Not COVID.

In the evening we walked around to Eli’s Tent, one of the many local cafes close to us, for a meal, then joined Mackie Street Singers for the second half of the rehearsal.

We noticed on Wednesday how well we felt after the fresh air and exercise. However, the outbreak in the choir has now risen to about eight cases, so we are testing again today before joining Working Voices for a rehearsal. So far, no symptoms.

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