Winding along the dirt track in our 4wd looking down at the valley slopes and onto the Murray River below. I was mesmerised by the stunning scenery and couldn’t wait to get to our camping spot to see what it was like.
Tony’s Bend campground is set in the Jarrah Forrest and it is where we set up our camper trailer for the weekend. Tall lean jarrah trees visible as far as the eye can see. There was little wind during our stay and just the leaves at the top of the trees were gently swaying in the breeze.
My water polo buddies had invited me on this trip and I felt inspired by these five ladies who set up camp with their children. The husbands didn’t come for various reasons and they didn’t hesitate to throw the camping gear in the car, strap the kayaks to the roof and take the kids away for the weekend. Granted they have teenage children so it is much easier than dealing with my little ones but I still think it is inspirational they go away on their own. I have always had strong female friends in my life and proud to be on a water polo team with these ladies.
Most of our time was spent on the river, kayaking, swimming and I also got a bit of a mud bath thanks to my daughter JJ! Just down from our camp is Island Pool which has a small rapid, the children were riding the kayaks down this part of the river. Dixie and my friend Kate didn’t hesitate to go down the rapids and did it with ease. I figured if they can do it well so can I! My stomach was churning as the kayak floated towards the rapid but I kept going and thought I was doing so well until the kayak crashed into a rock and overturned! A few bumps to the knee but I was fine and came out with a huge grin on my face!
Our family stayed an extra night and we had the place to ourselves. I took advantage of the quiet and headed out on the river in a kayak on my own. It was a lazy paddle, to say the least, soaking in the quietness and enjoying a few moments alone away from two energetic loud children. Floating on the water with only a breath of wind on my face and hearing the call of a few birds. Marvelling at how clear the water is, you can see the rocks and fallen trees as the kayak glides over the top of them. The water is so still you can see the reflection of the trees in great detail on the water.
For a while I even closed my eyes and breathed in the stillness, realising that it is very rare to have time to myself to just relax. I was snapped out of my traces as I could hear my children playing by the waters edge around the bend of the river.
Feeling guilty that all my water polo buddies were heading back to Perth to go to training I figured I better get serious. I paddled downstream letting the water push the kayak down the rapids and then it was time to turn around and go upstream. The arms got a work out as I used all my strength to fight the flow of the river to get back to my people. From my work out, I should have no problem getting a goal from outside 5 meters at the next game!!
We had a beautiful stay in Dwellingup and we will be back, we love you!