Photo: Keira-Anne on Flickr
After our incredible surfing experience, Keira and I found ourselves standing in the parking lot at Chesterman Beach, freezing cold in our bathing suits as the rain pounded down on us. We ran to the car in our bare feet, where we had no choice but to pull our jeans and hoodies over our wet swimsuits and jump in. We hadn't been able to check in at our campsite before our lesson, so now, tired and soaked, it was time for us to go and set up.
When we arrived at the campground, we quickly discovered that many of the sites were at the very least covered in big puddles, if not completely flooded. By this time, it was raining even harder than it had been all day and we were kicking ourselves for not bringing our rain gear, or at least picking up some emergency ponchos at the Co-op.
Still wet from being out in the ocean all afternoon, drying off was, at this point, an impossibility. We managed to set up a couple of tarps and pitch a little tent in areas without puddles. It was clear at this point, that the camping part of this trip was not going to be as we had imagined it. As we tried to start a fire (to no avail)...we both realized that perhaps we were over "roughing it." While we are indeed proud to be West Coast women, this was a bit much, even for us. We would have done just about anything to have been inside a warm and dry hotel room at that point.
We decided to abandon operation campfire since it didn't seem to be happening. We hopped in the car and drove back into town, where we picked up the most incredible hot and delicious fish and chips for dinner before heading back to camp with warm, full bellies and smiles on our faces. We were praying that our tarp hadn't fallen down and sure that we'd both cry if it had.
Thankfully, the tarp was still secure. Relieved, we got into our sleeping bags, ready to hunker down for the night. We slept surprisingly well considering the circumstances. In the morning, when we awoke to the rain still pounding onto our tent, we decided to call it. Warm beds in Courtenay seemed like a much better alternative than another night in our cold, damp campground. Plus, neither of us had any clean or dry clothes left.
We spent that night at the cozy home of Keira's lovely Mom, Aunt Anne and adorable, little Charley. I finally got to try the Courtenay Quality Foods' legendary szechuan beef. Let me just say, the hype is well deserved. It was to die for. We washed our dinner down with some yummy local Island pinot...and just because we didn't get to have a campfire, didn't mean no sm'ores...we made some in the toaster oven and they were gooood...