Prior to coming away I had great Bear Grylls visions of having to really survive in the middle of nowhere with wolves howling at my tent flaps and quickly depleting provisions. About 2 months ago I heard an inspiring talk from a lady called Ann Daniels who talked of having to sit in a tent for 3 days while a raging storm blew on her trip to the North Pole.
It did not quite happen as I envisaged but my time came on my first night on a caravan park 30 miles from Amsterdam. Having practised putting up my sparkling new uber light tent on Clapham Common it was up in under 10 minutes. Im sure my Dutch neighbours in their luxurious camper vans were as impressed as they were amused by my tiny (its actually smaller than me lengthwise) living arrangement.
“Hallo” a dutch lady yells, “make sure you peg down properly there is a big storm coming.” Excellent I think as I climb in to sit down and drink my first cup of Hot Chocolate.
36 hours later….. I am still sat in my tent trying to make sure it doesn’t blow away like 2 others on the site already had (I never thought I would need more than 5 tent pegs).
I couldn’t do anything. Sleep was impossible since Im being bashed from all sides by the material as the wind catches it, Ive eaten any snack that I had, I’m too cramped to be able to do anything constructive and I am bored senseless. The only moments of joy being the nice Dutch lady who feeling sorry for me brought me cups of tea.
It was pretty miserable to say the least, there was absolutely no Bear Grylls type action or survival and my hope of future storm situations has been doused. Bizarrely I did feel a small sense of achievement and almost euphoria when it finally subsided and I was lucky enough to get a glimpse of a rainbow.