We had one of our better camping experiences last weekend. It was a school event, camping inside an upcountry school grounds – fully catered, a fun crowd of fellow campers with similar aged kids, hot showers, flushing loos, great views.
All I had to pack was an in-car lunch and sundowners (crisps, beers, nuts) to reward ourselves once the tent was up. Okay, it certainly wasn’t the greatest nights sleep – at one point, when temperatures dropped, I was convinced I had developed arthritis all over – but we were home by lunchtime on Sunday and there was time for a recovery snooze. If only camping were always that straight forward, then it might not be another 5 years until the next time I dust down our tent again!
Read more about how the Africa expat stereotype copes with camping below: (wine is definitely a must).. 😉
The Reluctant Camper
The concept of picnics and camping have always sent chills down Claire’s spine, however, having recently moved to Africa, and faced the cost of local lodges, as well as shocked by the frequent bomb blasts in the city, Claire realises that her refusal to pack up a tent makes out-of-town excursions extremely rare, so she has decided to bite the proverbial bullet.
Fortunately Claire, her husband Keith and their three boys have been invited to join a camping adventure with seasoned experts, Bruce and Jenny, whose camping standards can be happily likened to those of professional white-Kenyan safari guides. The fact that Bruce owns a camping ‘trailer’ that he designed himself, a Bloody Mary ‘kit’ and promises to organise hot showers for all was enough to convince Claire after a moment of weakness at the Country Club members’ bar.
The trip does not bode well when a shoeless five year old Ben emits a blood curdling scream having stepped on a thorn in the garden. He weeps and Claire applies a plaster having been dragged away from mixing tuna mayonnaise, boiling eggs and frying sausages for the picnic. If there are such perils in her own garden then what dangers lie in wait in the African bush? Meanwhile Keith attempts to pack the car in light drizzle. His sense of humour deserts him when he realises that, with the best will in the world, the Prado is not going to accommodate five foam mattresses, a six man tent, five suitcases, drinking water, washing water, a gas stove, firewood and three cool boxes, without a fight. He turns to wonder if there is anything left in the house at all meanwhile items to be packed are fanned out over the tarmac drive and slowly getting wet…
Read the full version on The Telegraph Expat Life page: The Reluctant Camper