Trip Leader: Piers Marmoy
When: 30th May 2009
Location: Lake Dumbleyung WA
There was just a small party of four vehicles setting off on Saturday morning at 7am – but all good things come in small parcels and we had an excellent relaxing weekend away from the hustle and bustle in a great camping spot that Piers and Wendy had visited many times in ‘days gone by’ with their motorcycle club and young family.
We had an easy trip down as it’s only a few hours drive from Perth. Had fuel, toilet and coffee breaks, still arriving in plenty of time to set up camp and get a fire going before lunch. A lot of debate as to the best spot to set up camp – the ladies just let the guys get on with it and went where we were told! – and yes there was a large area to take your pick. Fire hazards were kept in mind though, as there were a lot of trees and dried grass. Once we were settled and as soon as the fire was hot enough, Piers showed his culinary skills and made us all some lovely ‘bread’ – I know it was something more than just bread but can’t remember what else was in it – and baked cheesy mushrooms, most impressive.
At one point during the afternoon we wandered off for a walk and came across an echidna snuffling along, he soon got wind of us though and rolled up into a spiky ball.
We were joined later in the day by a visitor, John – a friend of Piers from the old motorcycle-camping days who also knew the area well.
We soon had our curries going, ready for an evening of sharing and enjoying, with a few wines and beers around the campfire.
Sunday morning we all set off for a long walk along Lake Dumbleyung and came to the Ski Club buildings, which had obviously not been used for a long time. But what luxury, we found flush toilets and even though we had to break through the cobwebs to get in, they still actually flushed! Also discovered we had neighbours over the hill with two other campers arriving on a motorbike with a trailer/tent.
Wendy L. had baked a fruit cake on the camp oven just after breakfast and we all had a piece once back at camp after our walk. It was delicious, but even better it was totally low-fat with no butter/marg or eggs – we’ll have that one again Wendy!
From lunch to sun-down, time just seemed to drift between a damper, another ‘bread’ then nibbles before dinner. There were a couple of rain showers during the afternoon but nothing to bother us or stop the eating, sleeping and generally being lazy.
During the evening, chilling out by the camp fire and eating yet again, there was a bright explosion on the horizon behind the Theunisson camp. Trevor took off with Rachel in hot pursuit, but the commotion had come from the day’s newcomers over the hill. They admitted that they were experimenting with making a petrol-bomb which went a bit awry – terrific – when you think ‘worst case scenario’.
Monday we packed up and left late in the morning, travelling via Dumbleyung town this time. We called at the pub for drinks/coffees – think the owners had had a really good night as they looked very much the ‘worse for wear’, but they graciously opened up and served us. We had hoped to see some interesting Donald Campbell artefacts that Piers remembered were at the pub, but it had all apparently been handed over to the local museum. No matter, as we then called in at the roadhouse which had a good display of photos on the Bluebird and Donald Campbell. Lastly, we dropped around the other side of the lake to Pussy Cat Hill to have lunch and read plaques about DC and the speed record, and enjoy a full view of Lake Dumbleyung before a leisurely run home.
Many thanks to Piers and Wendy for sharing this spot and their memories with us. As you can tell from above it was all about eating and chilling – a great antidote to a working week. Hopefully we’ll be down again – would love to see the lake full it will be a spectacular sight. Not many places you can go just a few hours from Perth beside a lake, free camping, lovely scenery, wildlife, with only one other camper on a long weekend and fires allowed.