I had never really pondered life as a Grey Nomad (GN) until I got to Eight Mile Beach. Now, you really have to see it to believe it (and believe me I’ve tried to capture it with the photos below). It’s a whole other world here at Eighty Mile. It’s filled with self proclaimed “professional retirees”. And I can tell you, we can learn so much from the GNs. They seem to have it going on. I mean, one look at their camp site tells you that they know where it’s at. It seems an “Adventure in Dementia” is just what the doctor ordered.
While we have been tucked at the back of park (obviously because we are 30 years too young to be anywhere near the front), the GNs have lined the park with their “motor homes” and caravans … and some of them are too big to be called caravans. They have lcd televisions and satellite dishes, the latest four wheel drives, washing machines, dish washers, Australian Flags, herb gardens, home-made shell mobiles. You name it, they’ve got it. They make our camp look amateur!
They even have golf buggies and four wheel motorbikes, for those that are not quite fit enough to wonder round the park under their own steam. We watched yesterday as one of the old blokes did bog laps around the park on his quad bike … every 10 minutes he would come back, park up and go inside … and then before you knew it, he was back out and on the bike again. Perhaps him and his wife were not having a good day? Although we saw them holding hands last night, so all must be ok.
Actually turns out that it’s in your best interest to make friends with a quad bike riding GN … you see when you’re like a kilometre away from the shop and you buy 5 bags of ice to keep the beer cold … the oldies can run it back to your camp site for you. Problem solvered!
Upon walking around the park, I noticed that they all have their names on their vans. I asked Mr W. if this was in case they forgot who they were (well come on, you’ve seen the van, they even admit they have dementia). No no, apparently this isn’t a friendly reminder. It’s so they can talk to each other on their radios. Ahhh ain’t life sweet. They’ve even developed their own communication system!
On Wednesdays and Sundays they have a market in the little grassed area in the middle of the park, complete with their own raffle (if you have a stall, you have to donate something to the raffle). They even have an old bloke by the name of “Denim Blue” singing old school tunes to get the party started. Like I said, they know where the party’s at! And if you’re really lucky, you might even see some fifty plus ladies running around in their bikinis. Although don’t break your neck to get here for that. It’s not as funny as it sounds.
Some of these GNs have been here for months, some of them come every year for the winter. Like Brian and Margaret who are from Dunsborough. At the end of April every year they pack up and head up here to Eighty Mile. They stay til September and then they go home to enjoy the summer all over again!
Like I said, they know where the party’s at.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of “Post Cards from Eighty Mile” …