Nachts an der Küste der Niederlande

Wild campen? Geht doch!

Außer du suchst dir eine Nacht mit zu viel Wind. Versucht diese Wörter im Gedächtnis zu behalten, bevor ihr Campen in der Wildnis ausprobiert. Sucht euch einfach einen schönen und ruhigen Strand aus. Definitiv, wählt keinen Tag mit schlechten Wetter an einer kalten und windigen Küste in den Niederlanden. Nicht, wie Cate und ich das gemacht haben. Nachdem wir im Wald versucht hatten, einen versteckten Platz zu finden, haben wir doch fast direkt am Meer unser Lager aufgeschlagen. Es ist für uns schon fast zur Gewohnheit geworden, dass wenn wir unser Ziel erreichen, es schon dunkel wird. Mit Glück haben wir noch ein kleines Volksfest entdeckt. Als wir am Strand entlang liefen, hieß uns ein Feuerwerk willkommen.

Wild camping? Pretty great, until the wind comes into play. Remember these words of wisdom if you ever plan on camping on the beach and make sure to find yourself a nice and calm coast. And definitely, don’t choose a day of bad weather in the cold and windy coast of the Netherlands like Cate and I did. So we ended up choosing to camp pretty much in front of the sea after walking in the forest in search of a more hidden place. As it has become a habit for us, for the time we had reached our final destination it was getting dark already and with our luck, we found a fair going on in the little town we had chosen for the night, we were even welcomed by fireworks as we were walking on the beach.

So for the time we started to look for a place to sleep it was nearly eleven o’clock, which is the time we entered the little reservation near the beach to find a camping spot. We always go for a covered place which makes forests our best choice and unfailable friend. This night though the forest was dark and with no moon to be seen it had turned (from a lovely place during day light) into a place where mystery awaited in every corner and let alone the wind and the sound of the trees moving, you could hear the noise of something else moving from time to time and when we finally heard the sound of an old door opening (if it was a door we’ll never know for sure) we ran out from the forest back to the safety of the streets and started to search again. Finally, we decided to camp in an open space; we found a dune of sand that was somehow covered by vegetation and would made the tent hardly visible from the street. Now, the tent was a whole adventure on its own. I mean, in normal conditions it wouldn’t have been that bad, taking into consideration that our tent is easy to build, but the main problem was the wind. It was blowing so hard that we were genuinely scared that the tent would fly away at some point. We finally managed to put up the tent, get inside and eat something while the whole thing was shaking like crazy. We tried to put our backpacks in a way that would provide some support to the tent and went to sleep for a few hours. During the whole night, the tent never stopped shaking but as we fell asleep, problems dissolved into dreams; we could worry next morning at 5:00 a.m when we would have to wake up anyway before someone could discover our camping spot.

But as we woke up, the sun was slowly coming out, and with the sunrise and the feeling of waking up next to the ocean, the smell of the salt in the air and the vegetation looking soft as silk under the shy light of the morning sun, it was just the feeling of something extraordinary going on. There have been few moments in which I have felt so alive. We get so caught up in what we see or do on a daily basis, in our expectations of how things work, that we forget that these moments are possible. You forget that if you throw your expectations and caution to the wind, it may take you to a state of pure enjoyment. A place you would think is the hardest to leave. Eventually, we kept on going though, we had a long way ahead of us that day.

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