A day full of action (it’s all relative, eh?)

At 6.30 am, he decided he had slept long enough. I share the roof bed of our Ford Nugget with my two year-old boy, while my wife and the baby occupy the fold-out bed below. There’s more space there, and you don’t really want to climb up and down a roof bed with a tiny human. We chose to drive a bunk bed on wheels that has a kitchen attached. It’s an amazing vehicle. My son loves sleeping in the high roof. He gets all excited about it. One of the most exciting aspects of it is the roof window. If he stands up, he can poke his head out of the roof and overlook everything. Wouldn’t that be the first thing on your mind when you wake up so close to a window? For him, it sure is. So at an early hour, he starts climbing on me and poking my face, ordering me to wake up. In his toddler German-Dutch gibberish, he can now make it very clear that he wants things. And if he doesn’t get them, he gets quite physical and ‘in your face’ about things.

The rest of the day was remarkably uninteresting. Although, compared to most other camping guests here, we had an action-packed program. I really don’t understand why people go to a campsite to sit in their caravan all day long. Literally, most people do absolutely nothing. We park our van here to have a space to spend the nights, but our usual itineraries looked very jam-packed with all the natural and cultural beauty that the respective area has to offer. We still try to see the area, even now that our lives include two young kids. This morning, however, went by in such a flash, that we decided to stay on the campsite. Like good camping guests should, we sat either in or in front of our camper and did very little.

This morning I accompanied my son and fed stale bread to the camping deer, assured by the owners that that was the right thing to do. Yesterday, the owner offered my son to feed the deer those horrible salty snack sticks that you put on the table to try and make your guests leave early. Why would you feed this to a deer? And this bread, it was like really really stale. Too stale to make croutons or bread pudding. This was ridiculously stale bread. Poor deer. They looked pretty excited about it though, and somehow they looked healthy – but don’t take my word for it, I’m no deer expert. I wonder if they get Bavarian Brezen on Sundays…

After lunch, I convinced my son that he would really like to go swimming with me. And so we swam in the small unheated pool. Last week we swam in a swimming pool for the first time since the pandemic started, and I’m sure he could not have remembered the previous times. He held on to me like a little baby gibbon holds on to his mother when she swings from branch to branch. Just to be clear, I walked into the water, no swings, no dives. Nevertheless, he was quite scared. Today, luckily he was much more comfortable, proudly swinging arms and legs like a golden retriever, while I held him at the water surface. We’re making progress! I hope we can be dive buddies in the future. (When will I ever dive again?)

The reason why our day was comparatively action-packed, is because we cheated. We left the campsite and walked for 100m to reach a playground. I think I already spent more time on playgrounds in the past two years than in my own entire childhood. These days, they have a large ‘chill swing’ on most playgrounds. These weren’t there when I was a kid. Kids seem to find them rather boring, and I believe these are actually designed for overwhelmed parents that need some shut-eye, or a few minutes of cloud-gazing. Fitting that description exactly, I did just that. I looked at clouds, and thought of nothing. It was very meditative.

Yeah, tomorrow we’ll go and explore some more again, before I bore myself to death.

In stark contrast to today, yesterday we actually did something. We went to this quite pretty place, where we had a good coffee and (unfortunately) did not rent a boat at the place on the right. Views were nice though.

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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