Marrinup May 2023
The Golden Whistlers Marrinup Bush Camp was held over four days and nights: Monday 8th to Thursday 11th May; most leaving on the Friday morning.
Thirteen GW members and four visitors (2 from eastern states) attended the camp - ranging from day visits through to the full duration of the camp time. GW President, Tracy Lyon joined with us for Thursday lunch at Dwellingup Community Hotel.
The first attending members and visitors started arriving at the campsite mid-morning Monday, a few with a small amount of firewood to get our campfire going. After setting up their RV for the camp a campfire site was established, and the fire started. Gary left in their car to visit the Dwellingup sawmill and returned with a boot load of mill-ends for the campfire. Afternoon walks about the camping areas were enjoyed by some; others decided to stay closer to the camp.
There's lots of walking tracks and Dwellingup Mountain Bike Trails throughout the bush - including The Mundi Bindi Trail near the campsite.
Late afternoon saw a school group, of students and teachers, riding their bike into the camp and set up camp, for their overnight stay - just away from our camp. They also had a support vehicle and trailer carrying their camping gear and food that they couldn't carry in their backpacks.
The last of today's GW members arrived just before Happy Hour. Happy Hour was enjoyed around the campfire, afterwards some used the fire and waffle irons to produce their evening meal. The campfire continued into the night.
Tuesday morning greeted all to a cold morning. The school group left early. Gary had the fire going before leaving the camp to attend a meeting at his home village. Whilst he was away, Kerry produced a wonderful, sweet damper, which was enjoyed by all present. Unfortunately, no one saved some for Garys return. During the morning some camp attendees spent some time walking the roads and tracks, as far as the POW site and return whilst a couple ventured along some tracks and trails on their cycles. Meanwhile, Gary returned to the camp with another car boot load of firewood, during the afternoon. More members arrived throughout the day. The campfire was essential for tonight's communal meal (originally organised for Wednesday evening, but the weather forecast for Wed night was not for campfire cooking): camp oven stews and potatoes cooked in foil. What a wonderful meal, enjoyed by all.
Wednesday morning arrived after overnight rain. It cleared by breakfast time, but the heavens opened with heavy rain and stormy winds, which eased to occasional showers by early afternoon.
All attended morning tea as well as GW Secretary, Margaret Cook, who travelled up for the day. Margaret provided scones, butter, jam and cream, and other members also contributing with eats. After morning tea Gary led a discussion session on RV Safe - connect + learn + explore - An initiative of CMCA. The discussion, which was prompted by CMCA HQ, was to bring some RV road safety issues to the attention of CMCA members in light of the spate of road accidents, injuries and deaths experienced throughout Australia lately. Before Happy Hour a competition was held to raise money for our Charity Jar: toss a 50-cent coin towards the bottle of wine, standing on the ground (Jill and Gary had donated the bottle of wine). Closest to the bottle was won by Judy. Well done! $11.50 was raised for the Charity Jar.
Everyone rugged-up around the campfire for Happy Hour with only a few staying at the fire after dinner - the others all trying to stay warm in their RV, as the night temperatures plummeted.
Thursday morning began very cool but did warm up some throughout the morning. Fran arrived, for the day only. Diane (who had to leave the camp early Wednesday) had organised a small bus to take GW campers to Dwellingup for lunch (today) and return them after. Dene, from Dwellingup Transfers, arrived at the camp at 11:00am to collect a bus full of GW campers and drive them to Dwellingup Hotel. As we arrived much earlier than the 12 o'clock lunch time booking, some of the group visited the Visitor Information Centre and others ventured into the Dwellingup General Store - purchases were made at both locations.
Then, as we were about to walk to the pub President Tracy arrived to join us for lunch. Some enjoyed an enormous meal of lamb shank and vegetables (after Kerry's recommendation of her Monday meal); others enjoyed other hearty meals, but all kept away from the beef curry, after another camper's experience of that meal form the previous night's dinner. At 2:00pm Dene arrived to return us to our campsite. The cost of this transport was for by those transported, which worked out to be a couple of gold coins each.
Another school group (from the same college as Mondays group) arrived during the afternoon for an overnight stay and set up camp. Most were in shorts - it was cold just looking at them!
The late afternoon and evening were spent, by most, around the campfire, as the weather cleared more as the day went on, but it was not warm. Several made their evening meal with the aid of the fire. As the night wore on, the air temperature dropped and those lucky enough to have a diesel heater in their RV really made us of it.
Friday morning arrived, and it was cold (about 5 degrees C). The diesel heaters were flat out heating the RVs. Everything outside of our RV was wet from overnight condensation. No fire lit this morning as we had breakfast and prepared for leaving camp. RVs started rolling out at about 9:00am - some had no problem getting under way, some had 'small' problems, whilst one of the visitors could get her RV to start. After many attempts to start her vehicle (which appeared to be a flat battery on a very cold morning), another visitor positioned her car for a jump-start but, after connecting the battery leads only a 'click' was the result instead of a winding starter motor. The car was left running with the battery leads attached. Another camper (not one of the GWs) suggested that it may be a 'stuck' starter motor, being so cold. A hammer was used to tap the starter motor. Then as the key was turned, and more tapping, suddenly the starter motor began working and the vehicle's motor came to life. An enormous cheer erupted from the owner and other whom had gathered about. Gary also had a problem with the awning not closing properly bur eventually got it to work. Most had left by 10:00am.
Thank you to all who organised, attended, cooked the communal meals and contributed to a successful camp.
The GW campers contributed to Dwellingups businesses during the camping time at Marrinup.
Gary and Jill