Wandering Thoughts

January 4, 2009

Summer Holidays

Filed under: Going Places,Staying Places — terence @ 12:56 pm
Tags: , , ,

I love my tent. We’ve travelled together north of the Arctic Circle and as far south as the Straits of Magellan. I’ve camped in it on the beach in Chile and in the middle of the Outback in Australia.tent-in-snow-for-blog

I love my tent; unfortunately, I’m not the only one. As best I can tell, the Wind Gods also find it very pleasing. Why else would they follow it so? Patting it, playing with it, buckling it under their breath.

There was the night in Iceland where the gusts fell furious off the Vatnajokull ice sheet, shrieking through the empty campground. Even the old guy who ran the place reckoned it was a storm to remember.

Then there was the time in Patagonia when it blew like the clappers and I managed to set the tent side on to the wind. With every squall caving the walls in on us, my French Canadian travelling companion and I didn’t get much rest. Our only satisfaction being the next morning comparing our still standing tent with the other walkers’ bubble tents now strewn about the campground like bluebottles washed up by the tide.

And there was the gale at Tora. Stampeding out of the valleys and running down the coast at the same time, the wind blew so hard that Jo and I slept only in two minute bursts.

So it was that when we went camping this summer we went prepared. Arriving to a blowy westerly we put the tent up, parked the car up-wind and almost on top of it, and set out the storm guys, anchoring them to rocks and vehicle. We waited for the worst.

Then, the strangest thing happened. The wind got less rather than more. And we spent three days becalmed, alone on a small corner of farmland next to a quietly chattering sea. At night we slept under uncountable stars. During the day we bathed in the sun, read, did nothing, and enjoying being somewhere where nothing was the norm.

I spent hours trying to find words for the way the Cabbage Trees cut trails between the tanning land, sleepy-still sea, and swallowing sky.

After a day of this even the tent relaxed, yawning lazily in the occasional puffs of breeze.

aa-for-blog

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