I have a shopping list. On this list is:

1 x tent with at least two rooms and an undercover but not outdoor space.
2 x sleeping bags
4 x blox-up camping pillows
1 x high-quality inflatable camping mattress
1 x large basin to be the bar (keeping the drinks cold being *extremely* important, you understand

Gorgeous view, including neighbouring tent that I covet.

Gorgeous view, including neighbouring tent that I covet.

This list is based on the fact that, while our camping weekend was a very large amount of fun, it was also plagued by leaky tents, nowhere to sit while it rained, hard ground and some cold early-morning hours. And, of course, the necessity of keeping the drinks cold. Since we’ll probably not going camping again for several months, what with Autumn kicking in and our aversion to camping in snow, I have some time to get the equipment right. Of course, we may need to buy a new car, or a trailer or something, to accommodate all the equipment, but we’ll worry about that later. Nonetheless, as I pointed out to a friend who queried why we didn’t just stay somewhere with nice chalets with en-suite bathrooms, even with the outlay on equipment to make our stay more comfy, camping is about as cheap as it gets for a family of four. And the kids just love it. We practically didn’t see our kids the whole weekend, except when they wandered back to camp to raid the snack basket. We stayed at a great campsite in the Champagne Valley, called Mountain Splendour. It’s owned by lovely people who are incredibly helpful, as are the friendly staff who put your tent up for you and keep the camp spotless and lovely. There are pony rides and jungle gyms, a swimming pool, and even a boma with a TV helpfully tuned to the current Important Sporting Event (this made my friend Gareth happy when he woke up really early Saturday morning and got to watch the Sharks win at rugby). Beautiful views and electrified, nicely shaded sites make for happy campers, and the lovely clean ablution blocks with ample hot water make for clean campers. And all this cost us less than R400 for the weekend for the four of us (ok, obviously not counting the food). Now that’s what I call a good deal.

On the whole, I had a marvellous weekend, and was thoroughly spoiled by my marvellous family. I count myself extremely lucky.

I took many many photos this weekend, but I am particularly pleased with the ones below. I’m not a photogeek really, so when I get a shot I am quite impressed with, it’s generally just fluke. That’s particularly true of this first one, which was intended to be a shot of a friend, but somehow cut most of him off and made something else quite lovely instead.

camphalfdsmall

Driving into a small but fierce storm on the road home.

Driving into a small but fierce storm on the road home.

roadtrucksmall

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