Easter Weekend 2009 My Life 15 APR 2009

Two Man TentOh, what an awesome relaxing long weekend Easter 2009 turned out to be! :)

As I mentioned last week, the plans for the weekend pretty much revolved around our long-awaited camping trip to ‘Die Dam’ (just past Pearly Beach), and as expected, it couldn’t have been any more relaxing had it tried. The rest of the troop featuring Ryan, Dean and Zania had already driven through to the site on Thursday evening already, but not wanting to rush through and locate a place in the dark (never mind still pitch a tent), I opted to leave on Friday morning instead, a decision I happily stand by because it gave me a chance to get a good night’s rest on Thursday evening and drive through in a pretty refreshed state. As it turned out though, Thursday night ended up being quite an enjoyable affair in its own right, thanks to me arriving home from a long slog at work, only to discover Monty, Cheryl and Chantelle still hard at work turning our flat into a spotless, sparkling palace.

Of course, hard work deserves a suitable reward and so I decided to treat all and sundry to a delicious Spur adventure, which naturally all enjoyed and left feeling quite satiated. (I’m beginning to become a real fan of the spicy chorizo burger I might add!).

Friday morning did eventually break however and I found myself alone in my car, unable to open snacks without pulling over first (cheese wedges where never invented for one-handed operation!) and on a pleasant meander through to ‘Die Dam’, a journey that was to take just over two or so hours to complete. A nasty little turn on a fairly short, rubbish gravel road and I had arrived, dusty and eager to set up my tent as quickly as possible!

There I discovered Ryan, Dean and Zania had already set up a comfortable little operation and with the addition of my little two-man tent, we were set for the weekend, gazebo and all! Now ‘Die Dam’ is pretty desolate if you’re not much of a fisherman, because aside from being right next to quite a decent stretch of beach, there really isn’t much there. You’re a good 30 minutes from the nearest town (‘Gansbaai’) and if you’re still using one of the older models of cellphone like I am, you can just about forget about getting reception because it would seem that it’s all pretty much on the whim of the wind at times. Vegetation is pretty standard for the area, which of course translates to there not being much shade available to the camp sites at all! However, the plots are all powered, there is a big enough toilet facility (though old and dingy and broken as hell) and minor little ‘tuckshop’, making it more than liveable if you try.

This being Easter weekend did of course mean that the camp site was pretty jam-packed, with just about all plots occupied with a variety of people and cultures, making for quite a noisy and pretty interesting stay. Unfortunately for the fisherman though, weather conditions weren’t ideal for bringing out the fish it would have seemed, because we didn’t see anyone pull out anything of worth over the length of our stay, prompting Dean to keep his rods firmly stashed, unwilling to disappoint himself by going out and coming back empty-handed. (Needless to say, there wasn’t much to show at the hastily organised fishing competition either).

For food it turned out that this was to be a man’s camping trip, with a braai each evening (consisting only of meat and bread at the most), followed by a breakfast of either tea or cappuccino (goodie bag stuff, don’t ask) with some rusks. Outside of that, we lived on biscuits and sparkles, probably not the healthiest of diets if one thinks about it too much! :)

Outside of a couple of walks on the beach and a bout of entertaining beach cricket, entertainment for the weekend consisted of mainly of UNO, cards and dominoes, the quantity of which is sure than more enough to turn me off all forms of cards for at least the next six months. I did however temper the monotony of the cards with some decent graphic novel reading time (which unfortunately also resulting in me receiving quite the bad sunburn. Seems I really am an idiot at times!).

The weather for the most part was pretty awesome, hot and clear, and it was only the evenings which turned out to be generally unpleasant, with a bitterly cold wind sweeping through the camp for at least two of the nights of our stay, forcing us to bed rather early and leaving Ryan quivering in the back of Dean’s truck (the place he called home for the weekend if you must ask).

And while the routine was pretty laid back for most of the weekend, Sunday we did however kind of break the whole camping routine, opting to shoot out to Gansbaai for an enjoyable Wimpy breakfast and then a quick Spar shopping run. Oh and a visit to the local Crazy Store too – just had to lay my hands on those awesome long matches that Mr. Stapelberg possesses!

Anyway, that pretty much sums up the camping trip, and we all decided to leave pretty early come Monday morning, each with a ton of stuff to do at home anyway, meaning that we missed the Easter traffic rush and apart from an open petrol cap incident out of Hermanus, all made it home safely (well at least I assume the others got back home eventually).

Ah, civilisation again! ;)

The last of the Easter weekend was then spent unpacking, drying the tent and just doing some manly chores, before I was dive tackled by a Chantelle excited for me to be home at last and then wrestled into taking her out to lunch at Col’Cacchio’s in Stellenbosch, where we had some absolutely fabulous pizzas just by the way! Oh, and then just to round things off, we headed out to watch “Monsters vs. Aliens” in the evening.

See, told you it was an awesomely relaxed weekend, didn’t I? :P

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.