Sunday, 26 October 2014

Snakes, storms and sand

Camping season is here folks. Technically any season is camping season but when you have a thin tent like ours camping becomes a strictly spring through autumn thing. It's basically a place to keep the rain out... kinda.

Of course no Starrtrekking camping trip is complete without some drama and crazy - it's the reason I started blogging - and this trip is no exception.

When arriving at our camping spot I saw that someone had gaffa taped a note to the sign saying "BEWARE OF SNAKES!!!!" Underneath the person had kindly added the phone number of the local hospital. Anyone who knows me well knows I have a big time massive phobia of snakes. Irrational stuff. So rocking up and finding that put me on edge and kept me super alert from the get go. I was pretty much jumping at my own shadow.

We set the tent up and started putting in all the beds and setting up the kitchen when I realised I'd forgotten some things. To be fair though I'd been feeling a bit crap and forgot to check some essentials. For example, is there a plug for the air mattress? Turns out no. No there wasn't. Andre had to come home and look for the plug. Luckily we took our mini break 30 kilometres down the road. Still, he didn't find it and we ended up sleeping on the kids memory foam mattress toppers that he had to drag back. I'm sure they're awesome atop a mattress but on the ground they're shit.

The next morning we were happily sitting having a coffee when the inevitable happened. Snake.

Bastard snakes.

Of course I was the first to see it. But all I managed to do was point and say "fuck" repeatedly. In front of my Mum and Dad. The horror! An even worse reaction was that I couldn't even move my legs. At some point I barked at my Mum to grab Jude and I held Lucy's collar, but the rest is a bit of a blur. It slithered past (that word makes me shiver) and it took another hour before I could move anything below the torso. Serious. Thankfully my brain stopped being a bitch and I finally had control of my lower half again and was able to enjoy the day on the beach, although Andre kindly escorted me to the toilet every time I had to go so he could rescue me from any future snake encounter. Total hero material.

Lucy is an amazing camping dog but my god she's a dirt magnet!

Five AM a storm rolled in and blew half of the tent down, right on top of my three babies. In a panic Andre and I lifted the tent off the kids and moved them about while we tried to stop the rest of the tent from falling. When it looked pretty certain we'd fail at our quest I quickly moved Nate in with Mum and Dad in their sturdy and still standing camper trailer and went back to help Andre. I didn't want Nate having a negative association with camping and never wanting to go again. The other two jumped into our bed while we pottered outside propping up the tent poles. The wind eventually calmed and the thunder and lightning started. It was an amazingly beautiful storm that I wouldn't have seen lying in my comfy bed at home.

They shuffled up half the beach on their knees. Because?

Sometimes I wonder why we camp. It seems ridiculous when things go wrong, there are no locks to keep us safe, there are things that can bite you, you experience the weather in a way that you can't possibly when you live in an air conditioned and heated home and there is dirt. So much dirt. But maybe it's just because of those things, not in spite of them, that some of us humans feel that desire to camp. No amount of creature comfort can make me feel quite as alive as walking barefoot in the sand or sitting around a campfire, enjoying the slow pace and the longer days with the people I love.

So here is to the beginning of another camping season and all the amazing memories we make doing it.

Gourmet baby still expects his cheese and crackers while camping

Note to self: Be more specific when asking Nate to grab a hat

As an aside, Shannon from my2morrows has nominated me for a Liebster Blog Award, I'll be doing a post about that really soon. Thanks for the nod Shannon!