I went on this camping trip with my industrial fan, microwave, camping cot, toys, tons of mozzie spray and an open mind. I can tell you, without one shadow of a doubt, that it was *beep* challenging from the word go.
Pitching this 8-man tent of ours under a 35 degrees African sky is no joke, especially if you have to still deal with a 1-year old eating suspicious objects, disappearing into the road and licking off his sun block. I took this all in and went to my quiet place where I had a persuasive one-on-one with myself. After digging real deep I decided to stand tall and take this on. I would much rather have packed everything right back and go home where I can control Daevin’s comings and goings in a comfy way. What held me back? I already bought the t-shirt, which meant that I now had to earn it. That, and the fact that I don’t quit.
What threw me at the very start was the fact that the tent looked totally different in real life. What happened to the 6m long lounge area I pictured? And the sight of the new mattresses Sean bought made me want to reach for my first Amarula. It was about 9 m long but only 1cm thick. Charming. Besides for all the moaning and groaning every time we had to turn around (ouch!), the first night went down smoothly until we were woken up by the sound of The Rocky Bay Wind Troll threatening to carry us away. The flaps of the tent went berserk which made me seek refuge next to my 3-year old daughter…
… Only to wake up to a cloudy, rainy day. Now, in my PC days (pre-children) I could think of quite a couple of things to occupy myself with in miserable weather like this, but keeping an overactive, overtly curious toddler boy (happily) busy in the confines of a 1.5 x 1.5 m lounge area (still not sure what happened here!) is not for sissies. Needless to say, I took a couple of trips to the shopping centre close by to kill time but would have preferred a couple of swigs from the cough mixture bottle.
Something that was quite unusual to me, being a hermit and’all is the way these campers just all get along. There is this sense of unity; we were all one. You greet, smile at each other, have a bit of a chat and the kids play together. Hey, I could even do small talk! I must admit I didn’t deal well with the (already very clean) ablution blocks but there is nothing Handy Andy, disinfectant wipes and slops can’t cure. The days were long. Very long and the nights way too short but, besides for being a bit shell shocked, I lived to tell the tale. Without kids I think I can totally rough it up, but with small kids I think I prefer a nice, cosy lodge somewhere, thank you very much.
Okay. So maybe I’m being a bit of a drama queen. It wasn’t all bad. I loved seeing Kristin taking the most out of every day. Loved the fact that we were right on the beach. Loved the evenings next to the fire. Loved Sean’s happy face after his fishing trip. It wasn’t all bad!
Killing some time before I book the next camping trip. What did I take away from this whole experience? The fact that I’m woman enough to build some memories for my kids to treasure. The knowledge that I can now enter Survivor, should I wish to.