It’s happened. The test of a true camper. It has rained, and mostly in my bed. I sleep, as you know, on a 4′ mattress of vinyl and cover myself with the designated ‘comforter’ Cruise America have supplied. Nylon sleeping bag more like. Sometimes I sleep with my head on an outside wall, sometimes by the kitchen sink depending on the camber of the pitch. Sometimes my head’s near the KFC bucket if we haven’t put it away. Mostly we have, Mum. And I know that it’s not nice to keep switching ends, feet-head, head-feet, but it’s just my head and just my feet and I do wear sandals in the shower.
But a few nights, a few campsites ago we were warned that they were expecting a lot of rain. A lot. We weren’t allowed to use the pitch we’d booked and were brought right up close to the office. They wanted to get home, the camp officials. They wanted to check their life jackets and all those tins saved up for the end times and then hunker down in front of the crap telly.
It had started raining as we arrived so a barbie was not on that night. So we had crap food: they had crap telly, and food.
In the middle of the night I felt the sheet by my head – it was a head on the outside wall night – and it was damp. “Oh no, I ‘ve spilled my bottle of water”, which I don’t drink too much of because otherwise I’ll have to get up and use the ghastly loo. It wasn’t the water. Rain was coming in apace. and flooding my sheet, creeping towards my innocent sleeping face.
I changed ends. I squidged over. I placed a towel to soak up the drips. I moved the stuff in the cupboard above me – wet weather gear mostly, untouched so far. I was awake for a long, long time. I did not make a fuss. I didn’t ask to come home early or to go to a hotel. Aren’t you proud? I am. I made a cup of tea and put sugar in and drank it. And then somehow got back off to sleep.
It was still raining when I awoke. I was ready to have a paddy if the showers were piddly or cold or filthy. I ran over with my happy face on, wearing my fetching Niagara falls outfit, carrying all my washing stuff, dry clothes, towel etc, all draped in blue plastic. (CUE picture but broad band is too rubbish to upload.)
They weren’t. I could have stayed in there all morning but there was a kerfuffle outside and, as I emerged, a family of Belgians, damp but cheerful, were just outside waiting for the rain to ease before dismantling their tent. Which happened to be on top of a Defender. Five of them sleeping in and on a Land Rover. Not only that but they had driven up from Argentina, taking 15 months to travel south to north and were due to fly home from Halifax next week.We have a Defender. It’s great but I wouldn’t want to spend one night let alone over 400 in it. and with four other people. Respect.
PS. It’s raining again tonight.