I’m back! For those of you who missed the news, I spent the long weekend camping in the freezing desert. Outside Alice Springs. Yes, the desert. In winter. Wanna know why? Click here to read my post from last week.
Anyway, I’m back in one piece, albeit with hairy legs and armpits, cracked lips, reptile-like legs and gigantic bags under my eyes, but back, all the same. I’m generally not the happiest of campers, but I do try my best to embrace what is now an annual event – the Finke Desert Race, in my late father-in-law’s memory.
So in the interest of being all positive and stuff (ie. channelling a little bit of Genine), here are 10 awesome things I did while camping in the freaking cold desert.
1. Turned off my phone. And laptop. Well, let’s be honest, we had no reception anyway so leaving them on would have been an exercise in futility. But they were off.
2. Toasted marshmallows in an open fire and trialled a new method I like to call the ‘Alli & Hannah slow cooking method’ (thanks to our niece, Hannah, who was the official researcher behind my ingenious idea). Chewy and golden on the outside and gooey on the inside without ANY burnt aftertaste. Delicious.
4. Unleashed my daredevil side. Okay, so quad bikes may not be daredevil-ish to some, but they are in my books. I also watched buggies and motorbikes race in the desert. I was totally channelling my inner bloke!
5. Let my son be a boy. He played in the red dirt and I didn’t at all freak out because he we ridiculously filthy – even though there was red dirt from head to toe.
6. Enjoyed an alcoholic beverage before midday, living by the theory that it’s always afternoon somewhere in the world. (And discovered my new favourite drink – G&Ts!)
7. Learnt to let go of my OCD cleanliness issues when it comes to camping – sometimes teeth won’t get brushed, chins / legs / pits won’t get shaved, bodies won’t get bathed and that’s okay. Apparently. Well, so the smelly people tell me.
8. Fell in love with my in-laws (and their friends) all over again. We miss you, Smiths!
9. Squirmed my way through two days of watching people read our book around the campfire. Chuckling. Was it at me or with me?? Who knows! Talk about awkward! (Thanks Peta, Adi, Julie and their friends for at least pretending to get a giggle out of our issues!)
10. Really tried to live in the moment and enjoy the stars, the scenery and the serenity. Thank you to our family and their oh-so-accommodating (and patient!) friends.
However, while I am feeling a little more relaxed, I am certainly not feeling refreshed (thanks to drunk dudes who decided letting off fireworks every half an hour all night would be super fun, AND the fact that it’s impossible to sleep in the freezing cold with a complaining toddler), but I have certainly “rebooted”.
I have even decided to embrace my inner camper a little more often. Go figure! I must say, it’s nice to be home and in a warm, comfy bed though.
Are you a happy camper? What do you love (or loathe) about camping?