So it started like this … (I’m tempted to say ‘and that’s how the fight started’) … but that wouldn’t be correct. Or true.
It wasn’t a fight. What it was was the seemingly endless discussion about whether to go camping or to not go camping.
Whether camping was simply the best, cheapest way of getting away from it all or just some centuries’ old nomadic instinct from our predecessors which insists that you lug your household around to shivery destinations, I’m not quite sure.
The facts are you get 2 very different camps (ha!) when it comes to camping.
As you may have gathered, I fall into the no-camping-are-you-insane category.
I will relate just one story to you and perhaps you’ll understand why.
I went camping alongside a river with a boyfriend. It was an impromptu, rash decision fuelled by copious amounts of liquor the day before we ventured out. Due to work constraints, we arrived at the self-designated campsite after dark and parked on the sand at the river’s edge. Dinner was to be a potjie (or stew) which is traditionally made using water, seasoning, vegetables and a meat, no packet sauces or any other cheats aloud. Slight problem was we had no water. The river water was pretty churny and brown and we weren’t taking any chances. We proceeded to use the red wine we’d brought with us as the liquid base for the potjie. Only problem here was that the intense heat from the cooking fire meant that the liquid burnt off pretty quickly. Suffice to say that we ended up some hours later (the whole idea of a potjie is that it takes hours to cook (the originator of the popular ‘slow cooking’ that’s all the rage nowadays?) with half cooked, half singed meat, crunchy vegetables and no wine. It didn’t help that we were ravenous!
The camping didn’t get much better post dinner either. A friend, who ran river rafting expeditions from where we were camped, decided to creep up on us wearing a ski mask. With the sound of the river rushing by us didn’t hear him until he leapt out from the river bank – all 6ft.2 of him – and screamed at us. The following morning, deciding to depart from our rather ill-fated excursion, we discovered that the van that we’d driven in had sunk down into the soft, damp river sand and was stuck. An hour later armed with much choice language and two planks, we finally managed to extricate ourselves and head off back to civilisation. No-one could have been more relieved than I was.
I have since then had the occasional pleasant camping trip, but whenever the 2 camps set up (ha!) around the water cooler and tales of for and against start up, I’m sure this story has swayed more than a few undecided. Don’t say you weren’t warned.