Post Cards From Eighty Mile Beach – Part 2 “If It’s Rockin, Don’t Come A Knockin …”

Now, the next part of my story, is really where I found the inspiration to write this little insight into Eighty Mile Beach.  Meeting a couple of these “grey nomads” … it made me want to sit down and interview them … their views on life were just fascinating.  I was walking past one van this morning and I asked the old bloke out the front how he was.  He replied “I’m always good … and some days I’m better!”  What an awesome way to look at life!

After being stuck down in the boondocks on an unpowered site, I brought my laptop up to the shop so that I could do some “blogging” and give it a bit of charge.  An older couple (I’m not calling them elderly, but let’s say they definitely had a hell of a head start on me) saw my laptop and started talking about their hard drive that had just crashed (because he dropped it apparently, according to the wife).  They have been here for 6 months … yep that’s right they just pulled up, loved it and stayed.

Anyway, we got talking and I started telling them “my story” … how I had just moved from the city to the desert for love and the fact that we had only been together just under 3 months when we are embarking on the camping trip of a lifetime.  The old bloke said to me, “gee whiz love you and your bloke must be horny devils to move so quickly”.  This really made me giggle … it was like talking to your granddad about sex.  Anyway, his wife went on to tell me that they got married in a registry office after knowing each other for just 2 days … and are still together 43 years later.

Then her husband proceeded to tell me that everyone just gets married for the sex.  But he said you should always get married to someone you can talk to … because when the sex fades that’s all that’s left.  Good advice really.  So he told me that I should marry my best friend.  Someone I can see myself nattering away with when I’m a GN.

Just wait til Mr W. hears about this … hmmmm when the sex fades?  What if it already has.  Actually Mr W. told me last night that there is no sex for a whole month, out of respect for our camp buddies (there is no privacy when you’re camping).  Um, no one told me this when I signed up for a month in the outback.  If I had of known this, I would have stayed home!  What about my fantasies of making love under a sky full of stars and stealing 10 minutes in the sand dunes late one evening?  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, camping is not romantic!  Is this why the grey nomads like living in such close proximity to one another … they like knowing that sex is just totally out of the question?

Although, it’s obviously not like that for this GN couple.  They have a sign on their van that says “if it’s rockin, don’t come a knockin”.  Priceless.  I went and had a chat to this lovely old bloke.  He let me take a photo of his van … and his car with the funniest number plate I’ve seen, well when you think that the owner is over 60.

pp xx

Post Cards from Eighty Mile Beach … The Grey Nomads Know Where It’s At …

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” …

pp xx