I don’t know how many of you are camping fans, but in days gone by (as you would have read in Girls and trailers), it was a bit of a thing for us. And we were generally joined by a group of other pommie families, which gets me to a particular trip to the KZN coast one Easter…
It wasn’t a great trip down, with a truck on fire somewhere before Harrismith that forced us onto alternative routes, and a delay in our arrival at the ATKV Natalia resort. The net result was that it took us a whole 13 hours to get there!
So, the whole ATKV thing passed us by on booking since we were more concerned with the photos, which showed the place to be clean, good ablutions and on the beach… and that was enough. As it happened, we soon realised this was a place for SERIOUS campers.
The spot we were allocated was in a little area all its own and at the far end of the site… a bit like being on a stage, which is what it turned out to be. I wonder now if it was intentional or not, but either way, we were to provide the weekend’s entertainment, or so it turned out.
With such a late arrival, tents to put up (some with missing bits!), and camps to establish, our first error was in deciding to order a takeaway pizza delivery. And its arrival just happened to coincide with the vast majority of the resort braaing their meat on their stoep. Like I said, to get to our site, it took a drive past the entire congregated campsite, with fires burning, if not their meat. This also meant that the little scooter with umpteen pizzas stacked on the back had to drive past their disbelieving gaze.
That seemed to establish the routine for the duration… and the fact that the next night was Suzy’s (for the sake of anonymity), turn to cook, complete with electric frying pan and Thai chicken curry, firmly rooted it in the eyes of the audience, for that was what they now had become. Well, I won’t go into the myriad faux pas we probably made in camping terms, and I’m certain it wasn’t insignificant, but our best was yet to come.
Our final day arrived and with it, storm clouds ran amok across the sky, ever-darkening and foretelling that horror of campers about to pack… rain! Not quite deciding if it would actually rain or not, we sat and mulled over this quandary until huge raindrops appeared. That was enough to get us into frenzied packing mode. The fact that the raindrops soon became torrential, got the rest of them into amused audience mode… standing gathered on their stoeps.
Partway through this debacle, Suzy stopped and asked us all, “where’s Paul (her husband)?” With that, the window of her car lowered and he piped up matter-of-factly, “In here, Suzy.”
“But what are you doing in there?” Actually, the question was posed far more ominously than that, with a few choice expletives scattered through it.
“I’m reading Harry Potter, Suzy.” This said without a care in the world.
As it turned out, not only was Paul reading Harry Potter while the rest of us packed(!), he was also listening to the cricket on the radio. Anyway, fortunately for him, he rapidly realised the error of his ways and joined the rest of us dripping souls packing away the now drenched equipment.
We finally finished and jumped into the now packed cars to leave, when Suzy realised that Paul and his notable absence had actually run the car battery flat. Suffice to say that we had to push the loaded car through the entire assembled campsite to get it started. A sight that they no doubt recall to this day… if not write about on their blog!