It is common practice to start drinking in the car on the way. Somebody gets to be the designated driver and, since he´s usually the only one that cares by the time you get to the camping area, he usually also gets to be the man who puts up the tent. Such is the lot of the designated driver.
The designated driver is rarely me. My responsibilities on this trip stretched to bringing a tent. This I did, flawlessly. The only thing missing were the pegs to actually stick the tent in the ground. This being Iceland, and the wind blowing hard as usual, this presented something of a problem. I marched over to the nearest gas station, rarely far away on a camping trip, thank God, and asked for pegs. They had them, and I marched back to the camping area.
As I tried to push the pike into the ground, it bent. It seemed my workouts at the half kilo gym (read: bar) had done more for my strength than I thought. I tried another one. It bent too. I worked my way through the packet, bending every pike. I looked at the package. “Fine aluminium tent pegs,” it said. I hoped this wasn´t what the highlands were being sacrificed for. I marched back into the gas station, yelled at them that their tent pegs were no good, and demanded they give me more. The clerk handed me another packet and grudgingly said it was on the house.
This time, I gently stuck the pegs into the soft grass. They stuck halfway out of the ground, but the tent seemed in place. For now.
We now moved onto the next phase of getting in touch with nature – the barbecue. Everyone sits down on camping chairs, opens up a beer and lights of a cigar or cigarette of their choice, while they watch the burgers and steaks burn. It´s always nice to get out of the city and get some of that fresh country air. Even if the fresh country air can try to get back at you by blowing the beer sideways as you try to pour it from can to glass.
The eating over, we moved on to the heavy drinking. Back in the day, I would do this in order to hit on women. Now, older and less self-delusional, I knew I was doing it for its own sake. Still, one could always hope. This being the August bank holiday, everyone was out in the country. I met a girl who I had gone to school with. She had been a babe, but that was before she got pregnant. She hadn´t noticed me back then. Now, she didn´t look all that great. Neither did I, but then I never had. Let´s just say I was very sympathetic to her plight, understood the cruelty of the world and everything else. We went back to my tent. Meanwhile, in the Westman Islands, the class of 1988 lost their virginity and she gave me a blowjob as the wind blew the waterproof top off the tent. I was finally at one with nature.
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