01.04.2008 - 07.04.2008 30 °C
When I was growing up as a kid, my dad drove an old VW camper van. It was two tone blue with accents of orange rust, and to be perfectly frank I was completely embarrassed to ride in it. I used to beg my dad to drop me off around the corner from my school so the other kid wouldn't see the old rust bucket i was arriving in.
However, as it transpired, VW vans are now incredibly cool and are an icon for generations of surfers and endless summers. In the naivity of my youth I failed to appreciate that my dad, in his choice of vehicle, was in fact a cutting edge trend setter who managed to fly under my radar as a true style guru. I consider this introduction to and slowly developed appreciation of campervans a prerequesit to the situation I now find myself in.
I will now get to what inspired me to sit down and write this blog...
In the summer of 2005 I went on a camping trip to Wales with my brother-in-law, Luke, and some of his friends. In the evening, after a hard days mountain biking, we were sitting around the campfire and before too long Luke and his friends started comparing and contrasting their camping equipment.
There were conversations about whose pots and pans were better and who had and didn't have the new titanium tent pegs. Anyway, after enduring this for a little while I got to the point where I'd had enough and declared 'If I ever sit around and compare who has the best camping equipment, you have my permission to shoot me!'
So, needless to say. when just the other day I was sat in our newly rented campervan, I was shocked to feel myself experience pangs of envy flow through me when a newer, superior campervan pulled into the parking lot.
Now please don't get me wrong- we love our campervan- after all an Englishman's home is his castle. However, it can only be described as 'basic'. It consists of three storage boxes which double as a bed, a sink and a portable camping stove. I should also add that there is absoluely no standing room.
When I laid eyes upon this other campervan all shiny and new with it's separate sleeping compartments, full kitchen, onboard restroom and ample head room for backflips, I can honestly say I felt a little jealous.
Perhaps this is a coming of age for me or the fulfillment of the inevitable after that night in Wales when i declared my distain for comparing camping equipment. All i know is that having access to your own toilet and not having to rely on public toilets for your bathroom needs must be a truely amazing thing.
It appears you really get what you pay for when hiring camper vans. Perhaps in future we'll upgrade. Lesson Learned
STOP PRESS- As it has transpired the lack of head room was not the only problem with our campervan. It is a heavy burden to have to announce that on Friday the van broke down 300 km from anywhere in particular, leaving us stranded for 24 hours in a creepy road house that would not have been out of place in a Stephen King novel.
However, on the upside, we have a replacement that is about 2 feet longer and a foot taller (still not enough to stand up). We are now travelling with Benny, Bjorn, Anni and Agnetha in tow who are collectively known as ABBA (the van is ABBA themed).