I can say in retrospect that never ONCE did Geoff come camping with us. He was always away for holidays. Clever man. Anyway, nothing daunted, we went camping in Bains Kloof just outside Cape Town to try out the tent. We went with a large group of friends, which was just as well because I did not have the foggiest idea how to set up that wretched tent which was enormous. This was in the days before the newfangled tents which pop themselves up.
Bains Kloof is beautiful - a ravine in the mountains, with a river running through it for swimming and paddling and general cooling off, because it was HOT. Thankfully, I had lots of assistance getting that brown thing up in the air, and we were all set for a lovely weekend. Walking miles to toilet facilities at all hours because kids do that, don't they.
The first night was fine. The tent stayed up. The second night......oh my Lord. There was a strong wind. Think hurricane speed wind. And that tent started losing its pegs. The 10 inch pegs. Long strong pegs. And I spent the entire night, while my children slept blissfully on, crawling round and round and round that tent on hands and knees with the mallet hammering pegs in. As soon as they were in, they popped out and the tent started lifting.
Again, and again and again. I had visions of watching my kids fly off over the mountain in that tent, so I kept going round and round. I was heroic., I saved my children from flight. By dawn, when the winds dropped I was a wreck and put off camping for life. All the smaller tents had no problems, but that huge monstrosity (what possessed me to get such a huge one I will never know) was a disaster. Then there was the packing up. That took forever, because it had to fit into a bag which needed 2 strong men to lift in the first place, and the poles weighed even more.
So, when we arrived here, camping was not anywhere near the top of my "to do" list. We could stay home for holidays, kids. How exciting.
Until we had a church camp at a nearby camp site, and my friends promised to put it up if I would have 6 girls sleeping in it. As well as David and me. It was a big tent, remember. So off we went, and I did nothing except hammer in those ultra long pegs, because heaven knew I had loads of experience in wielding the sledgehammer thing.
Then I sat down in my chair and relaxed with a fortifying drink or two. No wind this time, but sleepwalking girls who thought that the door to the tent was at the back, where there was NO door, and spent all night trying to climb through the canvas while I
My camping duties were over, people. I do not do walking through the dark looking for a bathroom. I do classy hotels and room service. In my dreams. And in my genes. Sigh.
That would be why I don't go away on many holidays.
It was different when I was a teenager and a student. We camped with our church camps, but I did not have to organise things. When I was a student, I went camping with friends (including my boyfriend at the time) and that was fine. The guys sorted the tents and the girls sorted the cooking and the positioning of the loo roll on the tent pole. And the males could investigate any strange noises too. That was different. And fun.
It was all Geoff's fault, wasn't it?? I am sitting here wondering if my camping life may have taken different turns had he been around to do the warding off of any wild animals (especially in Africa where there are snakes and I do not do snakes either) and the tent peg duty. Maybe I would have slept on blissfully unaware of any impending disaster, and he could have done it all. Hah. That is why I loathe camping. Or maybe I need to have one of those motor homes. Preferably the ones with armchairs and bathrooms, and every home comfort including doors which lock.
A winnebago. That would be more my style. Maybe I will sell the house and buy a motor home and become a gypsy. Hmmmmmmmm................................