Last rehearsal

We should be prepared for all kind of weather, so end of October we took the opportunity for a last “rehearsal” by participating in the “Dachzelt Camp Speciaal” in the Netherlands.

The campsite was a huge meadow adjacent to a huge lake which the Dutch call “Zuidlaardermeer”.
We left Berlin about 1 pm, driving for hours through pouring rain. We arrived about 8 pm. It was pitch dark. As this was not a regular campground there was not light, other than that provided by other campers. Luckily, it had at least stopped raining.
We were the last ones to enter the campground that night. We were advised by the yellow vested guide to follow him slowly, if any possible not to stop the car, because otherwise we might get stuck in the mud. He found us a halfway solid looking patch on the grass.
It was cold, wet, windy, dark and muddy. As far as footwear was concerned the only alternatives seemed to go barefoot, in flipflops or wear rubber boots. Norbert decided on his boots. I don’t have rubber boots, so I stuck to my flipflops.
Despite the unfavorable circumstances, we decided to set up the tent completely, including the awning. We had some problems with the tent having slid somewhat out of the track of the baseplate. No idea how it happened, but we had a hard time (four hands working, flashlight in mouth) to get it back in. After about an hour the whole assembly was successfully set up.
Going through all the trouble – after driving for so many hours – setting up the annex as well, turned out to have been a very good decision. Later that night it began to rain. And it continued raining cats and dogs throughout the morning.
We enoyed breakfast in our waterproof kitchen/living room.

Arrival in the dark

Getting ready to set up the tent


Problem solved. Next morning.

There we are!

For our non-German followers: In Germany those portable toilets are called “Dixiklos”

Inside our “livingroom”. On other areas of the campsite it was much worse!

I’m afraid Norbert got used to me being the first one up and serving him steaming coffee while he is still cuddling up under the warm blankets.

Despite the lousy weather, we had a great time there. A total of about 700 “roof tent nomads” had made it to the camp.
We met a lot of interesting people, saw (and discussed) a number of innovative roof tent constructions and left the camp on Sunday with great ideas for the upcoming summer.
We had a common barbeque on Friday. Saturday some of the “nomads” had prepared meals for the rest of us, like chili con carne, beef stew, Käsefondue (some sort of Swiss cheese dip) and others. DELICIOUS. The costs were € 8 per person and the proceeds went to local charities. GREAT IDEA.

Luckily, we also had some sunny hours. Not many, but at the right time. On Friday afternoon we took our bikes to explore the nearest village “Zuidlaaren”. Very nice little town. It started raining again and we fled to the nearest pub. Very nice. We had a little snack while waiting for the rain to stop.
Saturday late afternoon it appeared as if the sun were apologizing for having been absent so long. It was a wonderful evening! Just take a look at the pictures:

Some pictures of our “refuge” from the rain in Lodewijk’s very cosy pub in Zuidlaaren:

Sunday morning quite a few of the vehicles needed to be dragged out of the mud with the help of this competent driver with his nice green tractor.

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