So, I’m heading towards the half century mark and I managed to NEVER go camping in all that time. It just never seemed to be for me. I like modern conveniences like indoor plumbing, hot showers, internet access, phone service— you know, the things I think we all take for granted. So camping just never seemed that appealing to me. I know, go out in nature and enjoy earth’s beauty. All well in good but for me, I like sleeping indoors and having the bathroom close enough to bed where I don’t have to bundle up and walk outside to handle my business.
So when we got invited to camp, I wasn’t too keen on it. It wasn’t just the adventure of it that I minded, it was the fact that the weekend of the trip would be the start of National Novel Writing Month and my gentle readers, you all know how much I love to devote all my free time to writing my November novel, right? So you can understand my hesitation in saying yes to 1) camping for the first time and 2) trying to reconcile that with somehow writing during the experience.
I was eventually convinced (I’d call it gently coerced because I did say yes while having drinks) and so began the adventure. I got excited about buying a sleeping bag (that’s right, I’ve never slept in a sleeping bag!) and trying to figure out what clothes I’d be wearing. I wondered if my Anker power bank would be enough to power my phone for a couple of days. Oh, and I had to bring my iPad because the RUGBY WORLD CUP final was our first night of camping and I HAD TO WATCH IT.
(Aside – Even though my All Blacks were not in the final – ALAS-, I still had to watch it. And watch it I did and what a joy to witness South Africa win over England. Sorry, I’m never going to cheer for a Northern Hemisphere team over the tri-nations Southern Hemisphere team. Well, if the USA team ever makes the final, I’ll cheer for them. Anyhoo, yah Springboks!!!)
We packed our things Thursday night and the hubby loaded everything into the truck while I was at work for half the next day. When I came home, we headed out for the long drive to Anchor Bay. It wasn’t too bad a drive but lo, I was quite glad for taking the Dramamine because some of those curves probably would have called up that lunch I had. We arrived in Anchor Bay in the late afternoon. Our friends had already pitched their tent and inflated their air mattress for us (yah!) so all we had to do was haul our stuff into it.
Anchor Bay Campgrounds is pretty spiffy. They have indoor plumbing, hot showers, and WiFi (which is great because there’s no cell service for me out here). The evenings are a sort of pot luck where everyone brings some kind of food and the day’s catch is cooked up for all to enjoy. Our friends fish and crab so the first night we had fish along with a lot of other yummies. Saturday night was fresh crab as well as a lot of other yummies again. It was so good! We brought some cheese and salami with crackers for the Saturday night potluck but otherwise, we haven’t had to worry about food because our friends have fed us, which pretty cool!
From our campsite, it’s a short walk to the beach and what a beautiful beach it is. It’s private and really only accessible from this campground and from above down these crazy steps from town on one side and from an inn on the other. I can hear the water from our tent, which is a little wild because it sounds as if it’s just right outside the tent. Since it is November, the water is pretty chilly on the toes but with the sun shining warm from that clear blue sky, it’s not so bad.
The toilets are a slight walk from our campsite but as we’re one of the closer ones to it, it’s not so bad. The showers are coin operated and they’re hot, so that’s a grand thing right there. Tent sleeping is interesting but definitely not too bad with a heater keeping us warm through the night. Our sleeping bag is pretty warm too. I love being able to hear the water hit the beach while I’m falling asleep. Living the dream, my lovelies.
Even though I don’t wear a lot of makeup in general, it took me a moment to not care about being out and about without any makeup on at all. My hair is a mess but that’s why I brought my cap and beanie. I do sort of wish I had gotten my eyebrows done before this weekend but oh well!
I have been able to write my November novel, but as I’m handwriting it for now (to be transferred to a Google doc later), I have only written in the day time and probably not even close the word count I should have. It doesn’t matter as I will likely make up for it later. If I can write 120K words since June 10th, I think I can get 50K or more this month. It helps that I made that 9 point outline.
So how would I rate my first camping adventure?…
Now we’re home and I’m glad. I unpacked stuff then took a shower. I’ve been looking through my photos and I am glad I got some good shots.
I liked being out there on the beach, listening to the waves crash, letting my eyes see more than my phone or my tablet or my computer. Even though I was taking pictures with my phones, I still felt a bit disconnected from regular life and that was a good thing. I was glad we had WiFi so that I could check on stuff (like poor Jack Whitehall and his disappointment in England losing in the Rugby World Cup finals). I enjoyed very much hanging out with our friends and just drinking and eating and relaxing. Walking along the beach was probably my most favorite thing. When I saw the ocean while we were on our way, I felt its pull. It had been so long since I’d seen the ocean and I didn’t realize how much I missed it.
I know that I was very lucky that this was my first camping experience. Our friends made it a great time for us. But man, camping is WORK. Okay, we didn’t really have to do much but have a good time and look after ourselves in the most basic way. I am grateful that the campground had modern amenities because even though I could rough it a little, it’s not my ideal situation. Tent sleeping wasn’t so bad. I like our sleeping bed! Our friends were pretty non-stop and I’m glad we got to camp with them. And I’m very very glad that this camping trip was beach side because the beach was so very lovely.
I don’t think I’ll ever want to camp on our own. I’d be pretty hopeless with it. But once in awhile, camping at Anchor Bay? Yeah, I suppose I could hang with it. I just wish the drive wasn’t so winding (and I wasn’t even the one driving!). All in all, a very cool experience at Anchor Bay.