Thursday, September 23, 2004

Mrs Bean goes camping

I started to tell the story of what happened when I got into Kalabaka for the first time:

I'll recap so everyone can get the feel of the situation

I hiked up to the Campground from the rail station at 530 in the morning. It was still very dark out. Of course I was always sure I missed it,so I kept looking down every dirt road I came accross with my little flashlight. Finally I turn a corner and Voila, a huge camping sign. The gate was shut and locked and I was walking around to see if I could get in. No. High fence, vines, ect.. I went back to the gate and thought I'd hang out until someone opened up. I touched the gate by accident and a small door opened up. Picture that of course with me continuously mumbling under my breath...
I moseyed on into the campsite, not sure what to do... do I set up and then sign in do I wait to sign in before I set up? I was confused. Luckly, I met a fellow bundled in a toque cooking breakfast. I asked a couple questions and he told me just to go set up and sign in later. He even offered his headlamp, which I stupidly refused. So I took a turn around looking for a nice camping spot. back and forth flashing my light everywhere, probably waking people up in their tents. I chose a spot, and proceeded to try to set up my tent in the dark. Positively sure that because I set it up once, I could do it in under 5 minutes. It was a bloody cold morning! Still mumbling, I rolled out the tent and tried to set it up! What a nightmare! everytime I would think that I had the pole in right, and move to another, it would fall flat. I tried maneuvering the flashlight in my mouth to see what I was doing, but I could never quite aim it where I wanted the light to shine. Finaly I had it up well enough. Now came the pegs. Instead of being like every other level headed camper and using a rock, I was jumping on the pegs. Did I mention I was mumbling under my breath new words I was creating, and I desperatly had to pee.
After the tent was up, I went back to the communal kitchen area and sat with Sylwek who was waiting for David to go climbing. I drank tea with him and waited for the reception to open. The note on the Reception Door had said: "passports in the restaurant. Open 730" Well at 730 I walked up and the door was still closed. 800, still closed... Finaly, on my way back down into the campground I thought maybe I should check the restaurant. Sure enough, that was the check in area.
Excited that I had a real place to sleep with indoor plumbing and showers, I Grabbed my large bag of dirty, stinky clothes and made my way to the sinks in back of the washrooms to wash clothes. My hands were wrinkled, water was everywhere. I was lucky I didn't slip! I bring my wet launry back to my site to dry. You would think I would have set up the line before I washed the clothes... Of course not. I had to find a place to put my clean wet clothes. I settled for a semi-sturdy kind of clean chair. I fiddled with the line and the trees in an attempt to make it reach. No luck. I found another piece of string around in one of the empty sites and fiddled with them until I had a decent clothes line. I started to put up the clothes (no pins) and boom the whole thing falls down and I have to start over.
Once the clothes were drying, the sun was warming the air and all I could think of was a hot shower. I grabbed my clothes and soap and stuff and headed to the WC. I grabbed the first stall I came to and hopped on in. I was in there so long that I thought I would use up all the hot water. I was hoping they had a big tank. The showers in greece for some reason never have the shower head on the wall; its attached to a long hose and placed on top of the taps. I turn on the water and I get sprayed with water in my eye. The head had a small crack. I didn't care, it was hot. I start soaping up and washing when I realise that the whole time I was doing this I was aiming the head towards my bag and clothes. I tried to maneuver so the spray would go to the wall, and the little crack sprayed a fine stream of water towards the bag. As I turned and moved, I dropped the head and it starts going like a crazy hose that nobody is holding. I am cursing under my breath, mumbling just Like Mr Bean.