“Sounds good” I’d said when the idea of camping had come up over after a couple of glasses of Pastis. The alcohol nicely fuzzing memories of school-enforced camping trips. It was only now, entombed in my sleeping bag like an Egyptian mummy, that the memories of a night spent gripping canvas before gale force winds finally blew the tent away to oblivion, surfaced with horrible clarity.
On that occasion, water had been rocket-propelled from the sky. At least one thing had improved since my last camping trip. It hadn’t rained as yet.
Laying in the pre-dawn light, I reflected on the fact that the blow-up mattress hadn’t made the same technological leap as our new 2 second tent. The built-in pillow must have been a foot high, adding to our altitude and the air-bed itself was not flat, but had as many valleys and ridges on it as the mountains we’d just crossed. Maybe the French don’t mind sleeping on rows of inflatable brise blocks I thought.
I felt claustrophobic and struggled out of the tent, but stepping out from the pine trees, the view caught me unaware and I suddenly revised my opinion of camping.
It would seem that pitching a tent in the Alps did have a certain je ne sais quoi after all…