And so, dear readers, I have to confess to you that I have never spent a night in a tent in my life. Well, I did sleep for a night in a teepee in my parent's garden in London, but apparently that doesn't count. That doesn't necessarily mean I have led an entirely uneventful life, although you may nevertheless judge so, but in my defence, I have slept a night on outside tables of Venetian cafes, passed nights in moored dinghies on lakeside beaches, and spent a night in makeshift sleeping bags on foreign beaches, and many many nights on foreign trains. But never have I spent a night in a tent. And why have I eschewed this particular coming of age ritual? Well, the reason is that the horrid plasticky feel of the outside, and so presumably inside, of a tent, is not something with which I have ever wished to become better acquainted. And also there's the having all your worldly goods strewn about the horrid plasticky feeling floor thing, because there is no furniture to put them onto. And the sleeping on the floor thing. And the sun streaming in at 5am jolting you into an unpleasant wakeful state thing. Whereupon you realise that your whole body is aching from the horrible sleeping on the floor thing. Let alone the presumably horrific nature of the communal showers and toilets. OK, so there are quite a lot of reasons why I have never been camping.
And yet - I find that I have booked self and family into a week of the thing. Ah but no! because I have booked us into a week of glamping, and surely that will be entirely different..? Will I find that I can see past, and hopefully not through, endless washing lines of other people's knickers about the place? Will I suddenly see the point of barbequed food? Will I delight in entrancing campfires glowing in the increasing cold, and children playing late into the night? Will I no longer care about being woken up at 5am by my crying children, or someone else's crying children, or just because of the sunlight streaming in? Will I be converted? Will I become a happy camper?
So, we arrived at Morgex, and were led to our yurt by the lovely team, who I later discover are three brothers, and I hold my breath when we are brought to what is to be my heaven, or hell, for the next 8 days, and find...
that it is yurt-tastic!
It is a beautifully constructed wooden thing, which Genghis Khan would have been proud of, with a sofa bed, which Joe immediately claims, bunk beds, claimed by the girls, a kitchenette, lighting, and how's this for a double bed:
The linen is fresh and clean, the beds are comfy, and, amazement of amazements, at night the yurt is cosy and warm, and wonderfully dark all night long, once the cover over the yurt roofhole is closed, meaning that everyone including the children sleeps late and long, and it is wonderfully silent - the only sound is the rushing of the nearby river.
Rosie gets up on the dining table in delight at her new surroundings
Meanwhile, camping du parc is wonderfully situated between two nearby very picturesque villages, each a short, pretty, walk through the woods away.
The way to Pre Saint Didier, with its famous posh spa, Terme, which I didn't get to visit, what with the whole family in tow thing..
But I don't mind because Poppy is clearly ready for adventure
And the sun has got his hat on, on Mont Blanc
In the other direction there's Morgex with horse riding for Poppy. Must be a great teacher because her first ever riding lesson and - look - no lead!
And for the smaller of us there's pony riding. Rosie had a lovely time on Caramel
And there's white water rafting for the boys
And a climbing boulder for everyone to have fun on
Then back at the parc there's zipwire fun all afternoon
Looking down on our yurt from another climbing rock
And if you look in the other direction.. it's Mont Blanc!
Life was also improved when I realised how to make a BBQ fun, rather than a late evening trail of ever-increasing cold and hunger. I suggested that the kids entirely on their own make a BBQ for lunch, on which they cook toast. Thus enabling the kids to have fun making a BBQ, us to have a change from bread and ham for lunch, to toast and ham, and, most especially, meaning that we didn't all have to wait around in the cold and increasing dark for an evening BBQ to light, and then eat a dinner that would be far nicer if it hadn't been barbecued. But I didn't put it like this of course.
And I even got a photo of me taken, just to prove I exist. I was beginning to doubt it somewhat.
OK I tell a lie, there were two photos of me. This was taken at the incredible Mont Blanc adventure park of zipwires. The ones behind us were just the easy peasy ones we did, not the super long crazy maniac ones we also did. Next time I'm going back to do the zipwire across the immense cavernous gorge, oh yes.
Back at the yurt relaxing on the comfy sofa
So, I declare glamping an unqualified success - Morgex camping du parc really has it all!