When I was younger the idea of camping would stir up all kinds of emotions ~ adventure, excitement, enthusiasm and anticipation. Most of all I loved the freedom camping gave us and other than checking in with our dad every couple of hours our time was our own, except of course when it was time to setup or pack-up. We were always given strict instructions not to disappear around this time or else…? The daunting “or else” would pretty much persuade us that it was a good idea to stay put although we did it very apprehensively.
Packing down included washing dishes in the designated ablution area where dishwashing liquid was in short supply and hot water was a luxury that only a few lucky campers experienced. This was due to their perseverance by standing in the queues at sunrise to get a much needed shower. Packing down also included sweeping the outside groundsheets of the mountain of dust that had settled and then using the same dusty broom to sweep the caravan floors. Needless to say I often think more damage was done that way but I wasn’t going to say anything just in case I had to do it again. In hindsight now I’m sure I should have swept the caravan floors first?
The worse of the lot was actually packing up the tent. The frustration of packing up a tent started with the tent pegs. Tent pegs that are so deeply rooted into the Highveld soil by my dad and his hammer that I’m not really sure how I was expected to have the strength (or the will) to get them out at the tender age of 10? Secondly for those who have never had the joyous task of packing up a tent let me try and give you an example of what it’s like. Imagine taking a round table cloth that is full of dust and grime and then having to fold it into a tiny square and squash it into your purse and still pull the zip up without bursting a vein. That’s the kind of suffering you will probably go through trying to put the tent back into the miniscule tent bag. It’s exasperating!
So by this stage after washing dishes, sweeping dust and fighting with pegs you are normally a little tired, probably a little sweaty and more than likely cursing yourself for ever wanting to go camping in the first place. It’s not the taste you want left in your mouth after what was probably quite a nice pleasant weekend. So when we heard of Sondela there was only one thing we had to do. Book!
On arrival they put our tent up for us and while we were waiting we were served complimentary sugar and cinnamon infused pancakes. Then they offered to do our dishes that evening. This is a biggy for me! It means no more wrinkly hands from soggy cloths that have to be dipped into grimy luke warm water. And then it was time to leave they swept and packed away the irksome tent right back into its bag which meant we climbed into our car less irritable, less sweaty and thankful for booking at such an awesome place. We left the campsite with a little smirk on our face and just when we thought the service couldn’t get any better guess what happened at the exit gate? They washed our car.
So kids I reckon any future camping experiences is just not going to be the same after this one. I’m also guessing that Sondela is going to be our choice destination for camping in Gauteng.
Too cute not to share…