Roland Dürre
Saturday August 21st, 2010

Tent Catholics

This is our third day on the beach of Porto Ageranos. So it is about time for an evaluation. What do we learn when camping?

Humility

So far, there are three of us. Maresa sleeps under the stars, using her much-loved hammock. She always did that, or at least she cannot remember ever having done anything else when we were camping. We are still waiting for Sophie and Christian to arrive. They will bring their own tent.

Consequently, we only took the small tent for us this time. Maximum height: 150 cm. Whenever I enter the awning or the tent proper, I have to bow low. And I often have to enter the tent. It is a kind of “humility callisthenics”.

Work

There is always some work to be done. Brewing coffee is a rather tedious process: got and get water, grind the coffee beans, boil water, prepare the filter and coffee pot, then slowly pour the water over the coffee. Breakfast means go and get bread (in the small shop a few metres down the road). Whenever we want to eat, all the ingredients must be tediously taken out (and later re-packed).

The onions for eggs and tomatoes or bacon (depending on whether it is a vegetarian day or not) must be peeled and cut, the stove must be activated. Then we can start barbecuing. The heat turns all movement of the hand and body into a small athletic exercise.

And if you want to eat something fresh, you have to ride your bike for three kilometres through the heat. Not to mention going to the kitchen after each meal in order to wash up the dishes.

This is where the proverb comes true: no pain, no gain – and: no sweet without sweat!

Pain

Living in the great outdoors is, initially, something you need to get used to. Running barefoot is also a change. In fact, more often than not, the soles of my feet re stabbed quite painfully. And the hot sand burns the feet of the penitent. Once in a while, I bang into something by accident. It hurts.

When I hang my feet into the water, small fish bite away on my legs. If I am out of luck, a wasp – having been tempted by all this honey of the Peloponnesus – bites me. Later in the evening, a mosquito will come for a visit and enjoy my blood.

So far, it sounds rather catholic, doesn’t it? Working in humility and silently suffering the pain of humanity.
But camping is exactly the opposite. You become aware of life. Nature offers us extreme luxury. At night, we experience the moon and the stars. In the morning, we are greeted by the rising sun. The crickets chirping and the birds singing is like music permanently changing. And all the time, it is nice and warm. If, once in a while, the heat is too much, the water is right over there. The food tastes delicious, no matter if grapes or tomatoes. Fish and vegetables are fresh, the olives and honey taste of variety. Nothing is better against the thirst than the water.

And then there are also the many taverns near by. You can eat a wonderful meal at Maria or Wasily. Life is great and you are allowed to indulge. Well, that no longer sounds so catholic, does it?

🙂 In a way, I think this is more like heaven than hell.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Kommentar verfassen

*