The campsite owner was just shutting up the office when I arrived.
‘You’re in the red tipi. You’re here’, she said, circling a spot on a map, ‘here’s the kitchen, the bathrooms, the pool. And there’s your tipi. Is it just you?’
‘Yep, just me’.
I wished I’d said ‘No, a friend is coming later’, but the words had jumped out of my mouth and she’d written a bold, black 1 on the form that I was to hang outside the tipi.
Too late. Don’t overthink the safety implications.
At the tipi I went in to explore. There was a double bed, a sofa, a single bed, a table. Stand-up space. Electrics. Call this camping? Pah! But maybe there is something to this new craze of glamping it up. Keep an open mind.
I tried the light. It didn’t work.
‘Do you have a spare bulb?’ I asked, back at reception, now barred closed. She brought out a new light.
Back at camp I plugged it in. It didn’t work. I scouted around outside for cables leading to plug points and, you know, I managed to sort it out. By myself.
I settled on down to an evening of thoughts and writing, of cooking instant noodles in the base of a perculator because I’d not brought any pots or pans, of perching a chair on a rotting wooden platform outside of my tipi and looking past the red glow of my tent, up through the bare branches at a waxing moon whilst I sipped on a camping cup of wine and ate mi goring. And I was content.
$55, apparently, can buy you such a moment.
Tomorrow I’d get back on the ferry, cross back over the Richmond River, head back to Ballina. For now, though, I was taking a break from share house headspins and expat aches and busy-ness. It was back to just me and upgraded basics, for a moment.