We camped in Kinlochleven in the Highlands. The campsite is very laid back, cheap and cheerful. It has an unpronouncable name and you can find it here. The views on the way there (and back) are amazing.
It was a weekend of contrasts (the blokes were of course right to worry about the weather forecast), Friday was all blue skies and singing birds. Saturday started off gloriously sunny but ended wet and windy. Very wet. Sunday was all showers and wind. Monday was dry once more, with the occasional sighting of blue sky and one glimpse of the sun. Perfect to pack the tent away dry. There is nothing worse than drying a house sized tent draped over banisters, tables and chairs.
Whilst the weather could have been better, the company was ace.
Within moments of arriving, the children fell into their usual routines of climbing the 'mountain of doom' and the 'hill of death', swinging on the rope swing, wading through the burn, jumping in and over puddles and poking sticks into the fire. The teenagers went fishing, kept themselves to themselves or entertained the company with strong teenage opinions.
The adults also fell into their usual routines.
The men were hunting and gathering: plenty of fire wood was loaded onto the trailer and hauled back to camp, fish & chips were purchased in a nearby pub and the occasional foray into the local Coop was organised to replenish the larder.
The ladies engaged in more homely activities: bunting needed to by hung, muddy clothes needed to be picked up all around the campsite, children needed to be counted and sorted into their respective clans, and gossip needed exchanging. This was best done in Bertha, a small campervan with just enough seats to accomodate all women.
A new routine was added this year: dog watching and dog chasing. Jack and Rudie added much hilarity and camp security. The campsite owners were happy for dogs to run around as long as their mess is picked up. Rudie, a puppy, is a bundle of energy, never too tired to have another round of play. He enjoyed running and running and a little more running. Jack (now a teenager) did also enjoy all the above but took his guarding duties more serious. He particularly disliked kajakers, loud drunks trying to cross his burn and bike helmets with silly pink rubber Mohican spikes.
In between routines and chores, food and drink was shared and jokes were told around the campfire, inside the tents or Bertha (a small and delightful campervan). Mystical fire dust turned the flames green, much to the astonishment of little children. No fish were caught. An attempt to make s'mores was not so successful. A variety of home cooked curries was sampled and enjoyed. Many bags of crisps were consumed and plenty of beer and prosecco, too. Much laughter was heard and some shouting also. Injuries were treated, mostly bruises from falling of the rope swing or rolling down the mountain of doom. Water was mopped up inside tent porches using old newspaper and discarded clothes. A rip in our tent was not fixed (again). Teeth were sometimes cleaned and there was even the odd person taking a shower. Hats were useful to disguise bad hair moments. There were some fabulous puddles to jump into. An afternoon trip to the Ice Factory was loved by all children. Some turned out to be natural climbers, others maybe not so much. Important questions were asked and answered, for example how many times a day on average to you wish your children/mother to some other less hospitable place? A swollen sprained ankle was cooled with frozen chicken curry.
I am tired, happy and full of new memories. I didn't set myself any goals for the camping weekend (this being a holiday) but at the back of my mind there were a number of things I wanted to achieve:
- to be warm during the night and to not get up to hike to the loo.
- to not wash any dishes for the duration of the trip
- to belly laugh as much as possible
I am ready for bed! Camping is a very tiring activity. I hope you all had a good Bank Holiday weekend. Cx