Since getting back from Alice late in December last year my little bug and it's crew with a newly appointed temporary co-pilot, made its way to Citrusdal.
Cistrusdal drew me because of the hot springs..somewhere. But before we even got there I realised that one of my primary crew members would not be allowed entrance. For some absurd reason I really thought it would be ok to maybe leave Max at the campsite for a day, just one day so that we could take a dip in the warm water.
I booked at a camp-site. I mean, a caravan park with my 2 man tent and beetle. We arrived very early in comparison to the rest of the people that would eventually fill the park over Christmas and New Year. We pitched the tent and pumped up the mattress and closed up the little haven we had made inside there. the haven was basically just a sheltered bed.
We set up a camp fire in a half drum, hauled some tree stumps around it and soon, very soon, we had ourselves a lovely rustic setting. We were super happy with this set-up, that is until the first few people started arriving. We watched as a massive 4 roomed tent was set up in the corner with a gazebo out front sheltering none other than a blooming weber. The sounds of braaing in the early evening became softer when the TV came on. No one was about to miss their favourite programs! I couldn't help but notice the satelite dish and the blue lights wondering WHO could be inside there.
Next rolled up a 4x4 and a trailer. I really started to feel that these people might just be on our level until that trailer transformed itself within a matter of minutes into a 4 star 2 tier luxury condo. I went to fetch my kids who had slipped in their to play with the 2 monsters that came with the trailer. Couldn't help but notice the drawers in the 'bedroom' for cothes, the pull out kitchen and folding drying rack and lockaway spice shelf!
It was only so bad because the place filled its 60 odd stands with different levels of luxury, from caravans to large domed tents adjoined by a gazebo, fancy trailers, you name it.
Every morning we were the first up and outside simply because our morning coffee meant fetchng water from the scullery and boiling it on a fire. Everyone else didn't emerge until they had had their coffee and breakfast because well, they even had a water store in their little caccoons.
So as nice as the pool at the caravan park was, being the leader of the pack, I decied that some activities away from camp was what the doctor ordered. So we found an awesome little spot right next to the Oliphants River, grabbed a canoe and canoed up and down the short span of river until our muscles ached and our skin burnt a bright purple. I speak more specifically for myself here!
When we were quite done we rested in the hammocks around the beautiful river-side camp and as rustic as the setting seemed this camp really met the expectations of us city folk. The grass was short, green and luscious, the kind we imagine exists only in the wild while in fact you can really only find it in well watered gardens. The toilets had a small kitchenette complete with ice-maker and shared fridge. And the best part is that the tents were for rent. You don't pitch your own here, you move into a fully equipped pitched tent with electricity, blow up mattresses and cooking facilities. Now THIS is what I'm talking about!!
Th rest of Citrusdal was nothing to write home about and we soon tired of camping amidst the caravaners who not only brought their own fish to braai but also salt, pepper and other spices. Perhaps it was a good thing we didn't bring along our music since we would have been competing with SO many genres it would really have spoilt the peace and tranquility of our little spot. Thank goodness for the electricity box so that I could charge my phone. My charger was a tad bulky so we couldn't close the box and I had to rest my phone on top of the thing.
This must have been quite the sight to our neighbours coming to plug their extension leads into the box. This one plug would be their mains.
Tired of rustic living we left a day early. The trip home let me wondering exactly what was on offer in the little west coast town that we missed.
It didn't take long to get home, part of the appeal with my chosen holiday spot and after arriving home the only thing I could think of was getting a bigger better tent, a 5 man tent, how about a 2 roomed tent? Or a gazebo? Now wouldn't that be great. My determined brain not only figured out just how to get that 5 man tent but also bought me a weber.