Guess what…it’s SUMMER. For us in Florida that means sweltering heat but for most everyone else in the northern hemisphere it means it’s time to head out and enjoy the best that nature has to offer. Everyone has a different style when it comes to the great outdoors but it is hard to find a person who doesn’t love a good camping trip. We did a fair bit of camping in our travels, mostly in Africa where we carried our own camping equipment, and those nights have made for some of our fondest memories.
The Good – We were scared to enter Sudan but once we were about to depart we were sad to see it go. It was here that we made a true “bush camp” for the first time, literally pulling over off the side of the road and pitching our tents wherever we wanted. We sat out each night, sitting in the middle of the Saharan Desert with no one else around, enjoying a nice South African Potjie (Poi-kee) and starring at the most amazing stars we’re likely to ever see in our lives. We were constantly on watch for scorpions (didn’t see a single one) and the four of us went through a full 25 liters of water a day. The first night we slept in the shadow of pyramids and on the final night we readied for our ferry to Egypt. When we we boarded our version of a luxurious Nile Cruise (yup slept out on deck) we hadn’t showered in 4 days…it didn’t matter, we were happy!
The Bad – Just a few weeks before our arrival to Sudan we found ourselves in Ethiopia and unable to find a place to stay. We pulled over at a local hotel and squeezed into the parking lot filled with USAID and UNICEF land rovers and were met by the attendant who told us the hotel was full. Naturally it was the only one for miles. With no other option, he charged us 50% of the standard price and allowed us to ‘camp’ in the conference room. I probably don’t need to point out that the only reason a hotel in the middle of nowhere in Ethiopia needs a conference room is so the aid workers can come together and spend a long day talking about Ethiopians…I digress. We had no option but to camp inside this conference room (a couple of other similar hotels had let us use the parking lot) and made it through a very uncomfortable night on a hard tile floor.
The Ugly – We spent only a few days in Lesotho and they were all wonderful. Upon our arrival at the campsite I asked the attendant if it would rain. In climates such as that the answer is only ever yes or no…and this man told me no. He was wrong. Our final night there the rains started to come. They did not stop. We’d pitched our tent on the high ground but there was so much water that it didn’t matter. Water was coming in from both the ceiling of the tent and the floor and we quickly decided to grab all of our things, ditch the tent, and run for cover. There were rondavels (little round cabins) and we managed to break into one. While we were drying out our things and our bodies and trying to get settled in we saw our tent FLOATING away. That’s how much water there was….so much for no rain!
This column of ishouldlogoff.com aims to answer those questions that we always get asked. What was your favorite this, or your worst that. We aim to highlight a new topic and will do so until we run out of ideas. If you have an idea for a Good-Bad-Ugly post, feel free to tell us in the comment section below or send us an email. To read all of them, click here.