They say things go in circles and caravanning is no exception. It is now officially trendy to go on holiday in a caravan! How do we know if we really like a caravan?
We should really be questioning our whether we really like camping in a tent or caravan. It isn’t an accident that on 1 single day of the year, January 1st, there is an event planned for the whole of England, caravanning lovers! The British Caravan Association are holding their annual rally in Bournemouth to raise awareness of caravanning in the country. Events like caravans, caravans in clubs and caravans on caravan parks are going to be held all over the country this year to raise awareness of caravans being used for more than camping. Caravanning is now officially trendy.
It seems most of us have been using caravans for camping for a long time, many families have been camping for many generations. Over the years the technology has improved, there are TV programmes to help us learn how to operate our caravan more, there are washing machines and many other integrated conveniences. The simplest thing that a new arrival into the camping world, is a gas stove or lantern fuel for the old gas lamps and lanterns we used to use.
Warming us up with a fire lasted before the diesel fuel could be used. Once the fire was burning we could get a nice hot shower, bath and food. The fire was a requirement to warm us up, as the lamps and gas heated our clothes and us, making it feel like a small home. We used this home frequently, as the source of heating was running on a cylinders engine, when the fuel reached a pre determined level. Often we topped up the water in the tank, to ensure it was full of gas.
So what is different with caravans, compared to camping in a tent? Well, in a tent you generally couldn’t see out and the curtain wall was dusty, while the windows were dusty brownish red. The flooring consisted of dried mud and we hadajoem (trees Causeway) just at the back of the camper as well as grass. We had the impression the Spaniards had not cared much for either a tree or a Hoover. The well at the front of the camper was dry, but we could see a steady stream of water coming up through the small diameter pipe at the front of the well, so we knew we had a supply.
When we packed up to leave we drove through several dry towns that appeared to be run down, but we were pleased to see such a rich resource available. The stores were all closed, but surprisingly many had signs that were two feet high, with a big red lettering. The stores looked like what one would expect in dry, sandy, desert country. Salmon, citrus fruit, nuts, wheat berries, baked goods, then raisins, beans, cotton candy and chocolate. The Camino talked about these being the most popular items.
It was getting late and we were tired when we pulled into Fillmore, only about 80 miles on from Monterey. suddenly a sign caught our attention that said “The Fillmore Hotel.” We stopped to look, and what we found was breathtaking. A sweet scent the size of a pin head started to envelope us. It was sweet and smelled like chocolate. We started to suspect we were smelling bread, so we started to walk into the hotel. To our surprise we found a full bath, with not one but two hot showers. How did they do that? We figured they must dehydrate their guests, or something as the Russians do. We were full after just a few minutes, and too tired to ask.
We drove back to the camp, stopping to seearing the massive rock, dubbed Vladimir’s Rock, by a local named Vladimir. We found out the rocks aren’t as large as they used to be, but still rather large, weighing in at roughly 7 tons. After a good nights sleep, we started to undevelop, as starvation set in. The hot, steamy underground baths at the Russian campgrounds had a wonderful smell about them. Of course, we didn’t realize that anything had been spoiled that evening.
We had a trail to follow, leading up to the hot springs about 20 miles away. By now, most of the Russians who were campers at the Russian campgrounds had gone home, with the expectation that we would join them when we got to our camp site. The road got steeper, and our voices got louder as we headed up the hills to the spring. The spring waters were very warm, and after only a few minutes it was obvious that we were in another world.
Many of the Russian campers had taken a dip in the spring waters, and some of them swam in it.