Camping. Not glamping. Which is still camping. Which I don’t want to do because I like to think we have evolved beyond sleeping on the floor effectively in the outdoors. Vulnerable to rain, spiders and grizzly bears.
I’ve been down memory lane with a friend of mine about the merits of camping. For some reason he remembers it as a pleasant experience. Proof that time does indeed mist and befuddle the memory.
We began our journey with an overnight stay at a tomato farm, on the floor of their living room. This sounds civilised but the place was inexplicably full of flies. I’m not sure what state the tomatoes were in but the house was diabolical. They were clustered everywhere, landing in lazy flocks upon you if you didn’t stay in perpetual motion. We feared the food we ate there for as much as those flies crawled on us, they landed on every other surface in the room.
The real tent adventure only began the day after involving an army tent and camp beds. In all fairness, the tomato farm people were gracious and lent us their camping gear, seeing as we were camping with their kids who knew how to deal with roughing it in a way I did not. Their daughter had no fear of spiders or athletes foot in the communal toilet shower blocks. The old army tent was actually cooler and more spacious than many of the other more modern synthetic options on the campsite.
The thing is the second night it rained. And not a little drizzle but a proper South African thunderstorm. The ground turned to mud and slid under the tent and into the tent, dampness seeping up the mattress the tomato king’s son and his girlfriend were sleeping on. for army tent ground sheets are not bonded to their walls. Not that it would have helped anyways. Peak season had merited we were on a slight incline and we might just have washed away as a few of the newer tents that were not pegged in by pros had done. Everything for the rest of the week was mildly damp.
The rest of the camp site was grumpy as a consequence I think, for everything from then onwards was sort of muggy and muddy while we were on site. While rave music was acceptable on a night one of the groups had wanted to relax, the one evening we stayed up past ten we were told off by the self same group for making a noise.
The funny thing is I don’t really remember much more of the trip.I remember vaguely it was frustrating having nowhere to sit ever as we didn’t have enough stools or chairs. And that there was a cabbage in the blue cooler box. But that’s about it.
I wouldn’t have said though as my friend did, ‘good times man, good times.’