SAND, STARS AND SWEAT
Last weekend we packed up our car and headed out of town. Armed with sleeping bags, tents, lanterns, charcoal, hot dogs and plenty of water we joined a group from The Norwegian Seamen’s Centre on a three hour drive through the desert. As we made our way over and up and down and down and over and sideways and over and up the rolling dunes, there was plenty of excitement for the thrill seekers in our group. So much so, that as we skidded sideways down one particularly steep hill Finley fell asleep in his car seat!
After the long drive, and the beautiful, open air desert service that took place at our final destination, ourselves and two other families set up camp for the night. As it got a little chillier later on in the evening, I was glad I’d brought jumpers, long trousers and blankets for everyone. Not.
You guys, it was hot when we left, it was hot each time we stopped during the drive and jumped out of our fully A/C 4x4s, it was hot when we ate our supper and it stayed hot all night. Hot. The kids did NOT need the pyjamas I’d brought along for them.
So many stars. Every little sweat drop worth it, and thank you bladder for not having a very large desert suitable capacity and waking me up so many times during the night, so that I got to see all that glittering, bright, breathtaking magic. Kind of like a blessing in disguise (as a wee).
I’ve put together a few of my top tips for successful desert camping, which I’d love to share with you. So if you’re sitting here now, reading this, checking out the photos, and thinking to yourself; “Hey, I’d like to give that a go,” you should pay close attention:
1. You’ve got to embrace the sand. It will get everywhere. No, really, everywhere. Even into places there really should be no sand, ever. So for the duration of your stay, you’ve got to LOVE the sand.
2. If you’re planning a trip in October, you’ve also got to embrace the heat. You will wake up in a puddle of sweat. Those hoodies you imagined wearing late at night? Waste of packing effort, never mind space in the car that you could have instead used for, oh, I don’t know, buckets of ice?
4. Get up early and run/climb/scramble to the top of the nearest and highest sand dune to watch the sunrise. Do it, do it, do it.
5. Choose your camping buddies carefully. People who brew Starbucks coffee for you in the middle of the desert while the sun is still rising are definite YES please let’s do this again kind of people.