Friday, 31 August 2012
There's is nothing like a new experience so this year, instead of an idyllic week's camping the sunshine in Robins Hoods Bay, we opted for staying in a yurt in the pouring rain in Pembrokeshire. If you've never stayed in a yurt this entry might be a useful guide. Or maybe not. Anyway I've decided to do some pros and cons of yurt because, well, the world needs to know frankly.
1. Yurts look really beautiful from the inside. Wooden balcony and fire pit overlooking the view, carved wood, wood burning stove and logs, and in our case two gorgeous leather sofa beds. Lovely.
Of course once you get the beds out and manoeuvre them into the only configuration possible in the limited space you won't turn them back into sofa beds for a full week as it's just too damn hard. So then it looks less beautiful and more like, well, a squat.
2. It's dry and warm in a yurt in the rain. And you don't have to worry about loosening guy ropes and leaking seams. The sound of rain on the roof while you are snuggled up inside warm and dry is truly lovely.
But in the rain it pretty much doesn't matter what camping residence you choose you are going to be going to bed at the same time as the kids. Or if you're lucky you could be swigging warm wine from a mug whilst trying to read the guidebook's short section on "wet weather destinations" by the light of an inadequate torch before you hit the sack a whole half hour after they drop off. I've never felt so relaxed.
3. If you worry about bugs let's just say a yurt wouldn't be your best option. I can still feel the inch long beetle inside my shoe as I type this 5 weeks later.
4. Equally if you worry about rodents you might want to give a yurt a miss. We shared a packet of honey roasted peanuts with what I'm hoping was a very small cute sweet toothed fieldmouse. Of course it could have been a rat.
5. Our yurt had a stand up hob and sink. Really this is a good benefit. I could cook bacon sandwiches inside while other more hardy campers were having barbeques under umbrellas.
But because of the size of a yurt it only came with one table and four chairs. The table was permanently positioned on the balcony, which was frankly optimistic in Wales. The chairs were movable, of course. But just as inevitably we forgot to move them out of the rain and back inside the yurt on more than one occasion. The thought of sodden bottoms made breakfast in bed the only option. I didn't appreciate the kids getting porridge on my pillow.
6. All good points and minor amusements aside there is one factor we still can't ignore. Better than a tent or not, a yurt still doesn't have a toilet. So maybe not getting to drink much wine with my husband was actually a good thing. At least it meant I spent less time trudging across the field in the dark and rain to have a wee watched by a swallow. Ah the countryside.
But don't let me put you off...