We are just back from two nights sleeping out in the stars where the ocean song soothed us to sleep and gently woke us in the early morning.
We prefer the roughing it type of camping where we can sit around a fire and our Kelpie and the children can roam free in the best kind of playground there is with no walls and only natural climbing frames.
We usually arrive under the darkness of night. Its such an adventure for two little boys. This weekend on our way through the overgrown trail to the beach we saw 4 huge kangaroos heading to their homes for the night. We drove through a gigantic spiderweb stretching across our path with a very large spider in the middle, it was obvious this trail had not been used for some time. The bright moon guided our way as we climbed the steep white sand dunes in our 4 wheel drive. We had been driving through the dunes longer than normal, the kids in the back saying “when are we there Daddy” until we saw it. The perfect spot behind a sand dune beyond which was the beach. A circle of stone marked the spot for our campfire and we began to make the great outdoors our home. The roof top tent a comfortable bed closer to the stars than the sand.
Our own resident kangaroo Daddy D in his swag with Rosie girl in her doggy bed right next to him. With close friends joining us on this trip there was not much more in the world we needed.
There were moments of crankiness and finding the never ending battle to cover our children in sunscreen extremely tiresome. Moments where we said ‘EHHH What is it we like about camping again?” Then the sun gets lower in the sky, and the children can roam free amongst the sand dunes climbing to the top and using their body boards to zoom down. Finding beach treasures like shark teeth and the operculum of a gastropod, fossilised into a flat stone with the circle of life spiral marking its snail -like evolutionary beginnings. While parents sit back and talk and laugh and eat and drink the children thrive in the freedom to which no playground in the world can ever live up to.
Then the almost full moon rises and the temperature drops. We put hoodys and track suit bottoms on the little boys and light the campfire. As the children roast their marshmallows and we sip on our wine we say “This, This is why we love camping”. The stars fill the sky as if somebody spattered some glow in the dark paint on our ceiling. The little ones become sleepy and my little Joey curls up on my knee and falls asleep. I savour his warmth and the weight of him against me , I am happy to keep him there with my arms around him and the fire bursting with light reminding us what really matters.
When we came home I asked the two boys shall we go back to our campsite and they gave me a unanimous yes. In a conversation with my six year old as we walked down a sand dune hand in hand about how much he loves camping, I reminded him that after living outdoors for a couple of days you find your house amazing with its running shower and a flushing toilet. He said “no our house is not amazing, camping is amazing and I don’t want to go home I like being free”. He is a wandering soul if ever I heard one.
Lip balm and a shower never felt so good though…………..