I returned from a year in the UK at the beginning of 2010 and I promised myself this: a holiday to the West Coast. After a year of dreary days slaved away in a restaurant and visits to the dam-like water mass the British call “sea” I was in desperate need of proper white beaches, blue waters and an overdose of sunshine. The grown-up world of reality forced me to wait until December for this dream vacation, but being a left-brained analytical strategist (a.k.a. royal pain) I dragged myself through the year by planning and preparing for the trip.
I chose my travel companion carefully – my close friend with whom I’ve shared small spaces before and who I knew would be patient, compromising and enthusiastic enough to share a car and a tent with me for nine days. To tell the truth, I wouldn’t have attempted a holiday without Z. As always, budget and time available were decisive factors in the planning process. In order to be able to see all we wanted to see and travel where we wanted to travel we were forced to opt for camping, especially as December is high peak-season. And so the dream began to take shape…
I started on my homework, researching the regions we were planning on visiting. I raced home after work in the afternoons to surf the internet for information on campsites, attractions, activities and must-do’s. I compiled a map, marking the towns and sights that were not to be missed, and started calculating the distances. Again the homework, phoning and mailing to find accommodation available in the towns where we planned to stay over, booking and making payments and keeping track of everything. My companion knew my passion for organizing and entrusted me to take care of it.
As we are not experienced campers we had some research to do about tents, storm ropes and other camping gear. I found a great pack list on a camping website which not only gave me direction as to what gear to buy, but also focussed my packing efforts.
And here we are. It is 25 December 2010, the night before the big trip. We packed ourselves with Christmas treats before packing the car with all our equipment. We are set to hit the road at 04h00 tomorrow morning, complete with GPS and a road map book, sweets to keep us awake, water to keep us hydrated, and music to keep us jiving all the way. West Coast, watch out!
Check back soon for a day-to-day update of our trip, as well as tips for the long road, comments on campsites, ideas for travelling and photo’s of our beautiful country!