Glamping may conceivably be a word which hasn’t travelled far beyond the confines of Ireland and the UK. A Google search would suggest this to be so, with few references to glamping in the US, although the wide open highways and sparsely populated regions of vast tracts of land make it ideal for use of an RV, a recreational vehicle, which would almost certainly provide many of the more luxurious amenities associated with glamping in Ireland, the UK and parts of Europe.
Glamping, in case you didn’t know, is a portmanteau word comprising glamorous and camping, thus ‘glamping’. It’s camping with a bit of luxury thrown in.
Typically, you might stay in a proper bed in a tree house. We can actually do this close to home. Staying in a yurt is also very popular amongst ‘glampers’.
There are a few campsites dotted around SL, and you can even rent a yurt to live in, should you choose to do so. Campsites, while not advertising themselves as ‘glamp sites’, do have some lovely looking tents and facilities in SL that would put them firmly inside the ‘glamping’ category (see photos below).
A Second Life yurt
Mary, my wife, and I started off our holidays together on a motorcycle and a couple of panniers attached. We’d take off to France by ferry and then stop at one of the thousands, literally thousands of campsites dotted around that country. One website claims there are 9289 campsites in the country. Given the amount of them you can find I’d say it’s probably an accurate figure, and there are maps you can buy, sometimes get for free, that show all campsites in a region. You can stop for lunch at a lovely little French cafe and plot the afternoon’s biking, knowing you can check in, pay not too many euros and throw your tent up. Some are very well appointed, with on-site restaurants dealing in top quality food, shower and toilet blocks and small shops for camping essentials you’ve maybe run out of or forgotten to bring.
Not all of them are naturist. It was on one of those early holidays, I think we were 18 or 19, that we actually discovered naturism when we checked into a naturist campsite by mistake. We knew what naturism was, of course, but had never thought of ourselves as being naturist. Mary says I read the map wrong, I say Mary read the map wrong, but we checked into a naturist site in error. I think we’d both have got on the bike and headed onto the one we planned to stay at, but it was late and I’d been driving the bike all day, and I knew I was getting too tired to bike onwards safely.
So we pitched our tent, stripped off, wrapped towels around ourselves and headed off to the nearby shower block to freshen up. It was a hell of a shock to find the showers were unisex, in our innocence we thought there’d be male and female blocks. So I had to stand guard while Mary showered and then wrapped herself in a towel again!
We got back to our tent as the light faded, so we were able to sit outside the tent and eat some supper, planning the following day’s ride by torchlight. It felt really good, to me, to be outside, naked, and warm at night. I told Mary that I liked the feeling and was a bit surprised when she said she did too. I though she’d have been much more reticent about being naked in a public setting, even though no one could actually see us.
We got up at dawn the following morning and even though it was first light there were a few people swimming in a river that ran through the site. We sort of reached that ‘I will if you will’ moment and we opted to run down to the river and jump in too. It was completely exhilarating. Watching the sunrise, being naked outdoors, swimming in a river. We pretty much giggled all the way back to our tent, feeling rather proud of ourselves.
We set off the next day to follow what was the itinerary we’d planned, but at some point along the road I felt a tap on my helmet, a signal that Mary wanted to say something. This was almost 20 years ago, we were young, and my bike didn’t stretch to communications between our helmets. I stopped and Mary told me she’d rather liked the morning skinny dip and the entirely unexpected exposure to naturism and could we tear up our itinerary and rethink it? Sure we could.
We bought some bread and cheese in the next village, drove out to a nearby river and sat down to re-think the holiday.
(continued in Camping/Glamping Part 2)