Friday, November 16, 2012

We Went Camping....

At the end of my week staying with Jason, we planned to see some of the coastal Australia and go camping four hours north at Crescent Head. Now, when people ask me if I go camping, I pause and say, I have been camping...I wouldn't say I am a camper. There are different degrees of camping. Camping at sites vs camping in the woods. Camping with toilets vs camping with absolutely nothing but you and nature. The last time I went camping was in New Hampshire and had such a great time I wanted to go every weekend. But it was Memorial Day and summer was over. Camping would have to wait, and wait, and wait, and I would never be the one to initiate it. Jason is a camper. He has everything. He knows all the tricks. He has all the gadgets and tools. He has the luxurious blow up double bed. He is well prepared if not over prepared. The car was absolutely jammed packed with camping gear, coolers, poles, surfboards, bags of blankets, you name it. He prefers the proper woods camping and being able to take his dog, but he was well aware of my allergies and my slight apprehension so he generously compromised to camping at a site with actual electricity. !! . But even so, I wouldn't be the camper with the hair straightner, and I wouldn't be the camper with my laptop. So I packed my one bag with sunscreen, a new book, my camera, some warmer layers and was ready for the weekend. 

 Crescent Head was a bit far, but only because Jason realised as we were driving that there were lots of spots on the way up that we could have gone to. We stopped off for some groceries - I had no idea what type of gear he could possibly have for cooking with and said I would be happy with some cereal and yogurt. Honestly. Jason said you can't go camping without instant noodles and I said you can't go camping without Australian boxed wine.  We arrived at our site and were soon setting up camp. I was given a hammer and soon whacking away, pinning the tents securely into the ground.

We had a really nice site along the river that lead into the ocean. There were two large groups of families on either side of us. We put up our chairs facing the water and it was as peaceful as could be.

The next day, Jason was up early and went away paddle boarding. I went for coffee. I grabbed my book and sat in the sun reading it for the entire day, happy as could be. Jason said he would now have to start calling me Irish-American-Australian because I was the perfect Australian camper: doing whatever I wanted. I could have gone swimming, I could have been taught how to paddle board, but I was really just as happy as a sunbathed clam, or something like that. 
As the wind picked up during the second day, sand blew across our site temporarily blinding us and we would have to hold on to our chairs, run after napkins and look at the damage after the wind died down. The damage? My tent had collapsed. The pole holding up the middle had burst through and there was just no way of repair. I couldn't help but laugh at the ridiculousness. 
Into the garbage: one less thing to pack up! 
Jason said I could bring my sleeping bag onto the floor of his tent (re: above luxurious blow up double bed), but he often stays up late and wakes up early and I know that he wouldn't sleep well thinking he was disturbing me. So...I moved my things into the back of the car. And again, just as happy as could be.

 Before we left on Sunday, I had finished my book and went for a walk along the beach at Crescent Head. It was really quiet and serene; just a really good weekend. We gossiped and chatted late into the nights, getting to know each other, but knowing our families very well. Jason commented that he thought the weekend overall was good for me and acknowledged that on the car ride back I wasn't picking at my hair :)

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