Friday, August 27, 2010

Glamour-chick goes camping

Glamour-chick goes camping! You wouldn’t believe the things that can happen to a single woman traveler. I met a dear friend of mine on the Greek island of Naxos to spend a few days. I knew she was a camping enthusiast and would pitch her tent, but I also knew that there were studios available for those, like me, who are not such ‘close to nature’ fans. However, when we arrived at the camp site, no rooms, apartments, studios or any decent beds of any kind were available. The lady at reception smiled and said: “But you can rent a tent! We’ll also give you a sleeping bag and a mat. It’s only for 2 nights”. I don’t know what possessed me, but I AGREED!!! A tiny tent was pitched for me next to my friend’s, a sleeping bag and a paper thin mat were handed to me and instead of a 5 star hotel, glamour-chick found herself in the wilderness, facing the very alien experience of camping. First obstacle: you can only crawl, no standing up and even on your knees your head hits the tent roof. You discover a whole new world of standing up and sitting down, not to mention trying to get in and out of your clothes without making a spectacle of yourself for all the world to see. Never ever have I tried to sleep on a harder ground which of course meant next to no sleep at all. As if that wasn’t bad enough, tiny ants found their way inside and crawled all over me all night long. At sunrise I couldn’t take any more and thought a shower would help. Of course, there are only communal showers and a bunch of very young French took that literally: at 6am boys and girls were having themselves a party, showering together in the ladies shower room. When I, who could have been their grandmother, entered, they, at first gave me the evil eye, waiting to see if I would kick up a fuss. But, I thought better of it and asked with a wide grin if I could join the party. I was offered a slug from a litre bottle of appalling red wine and a spoonful of melting chocolate ice cream. Taken in good grace, I even got a shower stall to myself and was able to kill the ants which were still crawling up my legs. That dawn party was actually the funniest part of the whole experience but at least, now I’m an expert on what NOT to do when you are past the age of 20.