When I was a child I loved it when my parents took us on a picnic that involved a lot of rock climbing, preferably with a bit of water. It would keep my sisters and I happy for hours.
So it was with great delight that I watched Lewis thrive playing on the rocks at Bells Rapids.
You see every year (weather permitting) we like to watch the Avon Descent at Bells Rapids, about an hour drive from the Perth CBD. We choose to watch the race here as it is the last batch of rapids before the competitors make their way to the finishing line 30km away.
The Avon Descent is a boat (power and paddle) racing event where competitors make their way down the Avon and Swan Rivers for 2 days over a 124km gruelling course.
Day 2 is a great family day out that costs nothing – yes nothing. You drive almost to the event; park your car in a field (that has been designated for parking) boarded the FREE shuttle, picnic basket in hand with every other man, woman, child and dog; arriving at Bells Rapids 5 minutes later.
Of course you don’t have to take your own picnic there a couple of vans selling burgers and sausages, but we have learnt over the years taking your own is better.
This way we can walk the distance to the bridge make our way through the crowds along this narrow walkway (not good doing that with a pram – we speak from experience on a previous year). Then clamber over the rocks to find a good spot to watch the boats manoeuvre their way through the rapids whilst we enjoyed our lunch.
Lewis thoroughly enjoyed watching the canoes and power dinghies capsize as they tried to negotiate the rapids, of course the poor competitor would have to swim in the freezing water back to their vessel, possibly dislodge it from being wedged between the rocks and rejoin the race.
Obviously there were also boats that made it through unscathed and they received a round of applause from the crowd.
When Lewis tired of the race he discovered natures playground. Rocks and water. He skimmed rocks across the water, through larger ones in to watch the splash, collected the pretty ones (which we had to carry home), then began to climb. He had a ball!
The only way we got him to leave was to bribe him with a stop on the way home at the chocolate factory.
Does that make us bad parents?