Wednesday, 7 August 2013

If I ever mention I'm going glamping, slap me!

Those that know me will realise, even if I haven't told them, that I am probably not the person you would associate with glamping.  I think if I told anyone that I was thinking of 'glamping' at the weekend I would be met with an incredulous stare and possibly a snort of laughter.   Unfortunately that didn't happen four years ago when I decided that Mark and I simply HAD to do glamping.  If it had then I may have re thought my quite frankly ridiculous idea and settled for a little cottage in the Scottish Highlands.

I had seen a lovely B+B in a magazine called La Rosa in Whitby.  It looked exactly like my type of holiday, quirky, quaint, old fashioned seaside fun, vintage and in the location that Bram Stoker wrote Dracula so steeped in history too. 


Robin Hood Bay
Robin Hood Bay

I set about looking it up on the internet, found the website and saw that there was a SPECIAL OFFER.  Now I love special offers as it means you have money left over to spend on something else and you get more bang for your buck so to speak.  Excitedly I looked at the offer and saw that you got one night free at La Rosa's sister site, The Campsite Extraordinaire.  I should have stopped there.  I didn't and with visions of my other beatnik, bohemian self, I imagined myself at one with nature, cooking marshmallows over the camp fire, wearing my shorts with a chunky knit cardigan and light vest with my green hunter wellies and long blond hair looking ethereal in the late summer sun, laying in the outside bath looking at the stars with a flower bando on my head.  My bohemian self ignored the very large warning sign that I shouldn't be booking this holiday when my eyes glanced at the words COMPOST TOILET.  I, for some reason completely chose to ignore this and I think just thought that of course there will be proper toilet facilities but what a quaint idea a compost toilet is.  I duly booked a night in the vintage Roma full of beautiful etched glass and 2 nights actually at the b+b in Whitby.


I always know when Mark thinks something is a ludicrous idea because he tells me.  When I informed him of our little break, the look on his face and the silence that followed should have told me he didn't think it was a good idea.  If I wasn't getting it from those clues then the incessant questioning of whether I thought it was a good idea as "You know what you're like" should have made it perfectly clear.  It didn't so off we set and as soon as we got to the campsite I knew I was in trouble.

The honesty Caravan where you could buy sweeties

It had been raining and I only had my Birkenstocks and it was muddy, very muddy.  After gingerly walking over the crates to save you sinking in the mud we got to our van and I have to say that it was gorgeous and exactly what I wanted, very gypsyesque and romantic especially as it had the wood burner.  Okay, so this is alright I'm thinking, it smells a bit damp and the sheets feel a bit damp but that's what us bohemians do, who needs perfectly dry sheets.  Then we found the toilet.  The only toilet on the campsite and yes, they hadn't been joking, it really was a compost one.  The fixed smile slowly slid from my face and completely slid off when I saw the communal showers with no curtains or any privacy for when you want to wash your bits.  The outside bath wasn't quite as romantic either as it was next to the washing up tap so that was out.  Remaining positive we went to the pub through the woods and had a lovely evening.  We got back and even though I was slightly scared to put my arm under my pillow in case I came across a Spider and her babies and Mark's asthma started playing up because of the damp, it could have been worse.

Our Roma



The entertainment tent

The entertainment
Someone was happy

It got worse at precisely 4 o'clock in the morning when I needed to go to the toilet.  I lay there thinking that I could just hold it as it was dark, I doidn't want to get dressed and I really, really really didn't want to use the compost toilet in case something popped up and bit me on my bum.  There was no way I could hold it and as Mark was asleep I realised I was in it on my own.  Well I was until I started huffing and puffing and quietly sobbing and sitting on the end of the bed for 10 minutes hoping I'd wake Mark up without actually waking him if you know what I mean.  My plan worked and all of a sudden I heard Mark say "Are you okay?"  Well of course I turned round and told him that I wasn't really as I really needed the loo but was too scared and couldn't cope any more with the compost situation and that I hoped I hadn't woken him.  Mark told me later that he had lain there
awhile listening to me, pretending to be asleep and hoping that I'd deal with it on my own.  That was never going to happen and I would have sat there and probably nudged him until he woke up.

Where you spend a penny or two

The sawdust

Anyway I was happy as nothing crawled up my bum, I was feeling more comfortable and we could get a few more hours of kip before we left.  We had about about two hours sleep and were wide awake at 6.30am so we thought we'd go and have a shower before everyone else.  Well it was farcical to be honest as yet again I couldn't deal with the fact that we were not in a hotel but on a campsite.  There was a curtain at the door of the shower that didn't shut properly so Mark had to somehow pull it across as far as it would go, then put a chair in front so people would know it was occupied.  I had the quickest shower ever, no romantically washing each others hair here I can tell you. Then I dried myself in record time and I was outta there.  By 9am when we decided to leave I had had three outfit changes (I think it was the stress) and Mark had aged by 10 years.  As we left I saw my other bohemian self, without any shoes on actually, acting exactly as I had imagined myself.

The next two days were fabulous and Whitby is a really fantastic place to visit.  La Rosa is what it is and just because it wasn't what I had in mind doesn't mean that it wasn't any good. When all is said and done, we had a really good time and La Rosa definitely contributed to that.

La Rosa room at La Rosa


Two things came out of the experience
A.  I am never allowed to utter the word Glamping again and
B.  My name is Fiona and I am high maintenance

Happy Camping everyone!

9 comments:

  1. Oh you made me laugh so much!!! Having just come back from Camp Bestival and having used said 'compost' toilets I understand your pain!!!

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    1. Thank you Clare, I'm glad you understand! I honestly didn't realise how 'precious' I am about things like that, I thought I'd cope wonderfully!

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  2. Fabulous. I a so with you on the Glamping. I know my limitations and the B&B wins every time x

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    1. Haha, yes absolutely although I see these wonderful glamping getaways and I STILL think its a fantastic idea until I'm bought back to earth with one word, WHITBY.x

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  3. How I loathe camping. I went years ago when Emilia was 4 with a friend, also with a tiny daughter. We went to the Isle of Wight with a very old tent! Dreadful rain meant we had to sit in the tent or go out for day trips. Children fought, we lived on tuna pasta as we had very little money. Horrid communal showers and loos, my worse nightmare. I thought glamping might be better, but you have convinced me never to try!

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    1. Poor Julia, that just sounds horrendous although I did laugh.....quite a lot actually! I think that glamping is not for everyone but somewhere out there, there is a glampsite for us!

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  4. so funny. I have to tell you that I go camping a lot with a bunch of friends on some private land where we have our very own compost toilet. I think they are much better than chemical loos (which I have a total fear of) because it never seems to smell and you can just fill in the hole and dig another one in another place! (well that's what I call a 'blue' job aka the men do it haha!!so glad to have found your blog :)

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    1. I have to say Claire that I think my main issue was that it was a shared compost toilet with people I didn't know, if we'd had our own then it probably wouldn't have been a problem. However the compost toilet is much preferred to the chemical loo which I hadn't even thought of, now that would have led to a total breakdown and at least 5 outfit changes ;) Thanks for reminding me that things could have been worse, chemical loos really are AWFUL! xx

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  5. Hilarious post. When the builders gutted my bathroom recently I got a taste of glamping in my own home. After several days of, ahem, slopping out, any thoughts I ever harboured about going to Glastonbury vanished for ever!

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