Quick overnight at Cotter – Nov 2023

I was invited to do a quick Thursday night camp at the very close Cotter Campgrounds without the family. Originally I was just going to bring the swag as the rest of the family wasn’t coming, but there were spare caravan spots available and what’s the point of having an expensive camper if you never use it? Plus all the camping gear is kept in the camper, so it made packing much easier.

I packed up and left in the early afternoon, picking a spot that was the furthest away from other campers. Setup was very quick, taking less than 15 minutes. I ended up forgetting the good camp chairs as they’re not kept in the camper, but my mate had a spare one. I think I’ll need to pack and hide some small chairs or stools for future trips as that’s twice now I’ve not remembered to pack the chairs in the van.

I had a bit of time by myself before my mate showed up after work, so I wandered down the riverside had a few beers. The water was crystal clear, enough to show a few big fish swimming around.

I wasn’t game for a swim though, despite it being a relatively hot day. The water was a bit too cold – no one else was swimming for good reason. I did manage to see what looked like a platypus swimming along the other side of the river, but couldn’t get a photo to confirm.

When my mate showed up we had a few more beers, set up the fire in the provided firepit and cooked some dinner on our small travel BBQ. Lamb wraps with swiss cheese, pickled onions and tomatoes was a simple, but delicious dinner (with minimal washing up required).

A bit of a chat and some male bonding near the fire was interrupted by another camper who had brought 5 large dogs to a campsite that specifically doesn’t allow dogs. His dogs had been barking and running loose all night, and then one of them was chasing a fox up on the road and got hit by a car. The old bloke didn’t bother to get out of his sleeping bag and just yelled at us to stop shining torches at him when we asked him to check the condition of his dogs.

After that little bit of excitement, we ended up going to bed fairly early. I felt fairly silly in the camper’s giant king bed by myself, but I was at least very comfortable and had room to spread out. The next morning I woke up fairly early and ended up cooking breakfast and starting to pack up before my mate was even out of bed. He challenged himself by having a morning swim, something that was probably not ideal as apparently it was very cold water. I declined the invitation to join him.

Pack up was done in around 20 minutes, and with the camper already connected to the van I was heading back home pretty early.

All up it was good to get away and check out the camper equipment after the last long trip away. I found a few items that were missing this trip, so I’m adding them to the list to ensure they are packed away next time. Mostly they were kitchen items that had been brought into the house to wash and not returned, but it was good to check.

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