A little while ago Miss Duck and I found ourselves in the Dutch countryside in an effort to escape the city for a weekend.
And an escape we got!
Het Verborgen Verblijf
(the UK equivalent of the concept is called "Country House Hideout
" ) promised a stay in the style of the Great Explorers and Adventures of times past!
In short this meant an encampment with a big ass tent smack in the middle of the woods with no warm water from the tab, no way to power your electrical devices, no gas for cooking and loads of mosquito's.
While this might not sounds like a "relaxing time", the opposite proved to be true.
It's a lot of fun to be able to get up in the morning, walk over to a chicken coop to grab some eggs after which you build a fire in the cooking cart opposite your tent to make some pancakes. Simple!
What it reminded me most of was the concept of "Dude ranches". A popular way for "city folk" to experience life on farms and in the countryside which flourished in the US around the 20's-30's. But this time with some time traveling thrown in for good measure…
Entrance to the tent with our bags in front of it. Traveling in style, for the occasion…
A look in to the serious safari sized tent!
Big enough to fit six, plus the option to set up an extra, two sized tent.
Wind-up gramophone and a odd but fun mix of old records, "discovery corner" with small library, microcope, field telephone (connected to both the bathroom and the outhouse!) drawing materials and a telescope.
Kitchen in two parts, build a fire in either one of those metal boxes in the cookingcart, the box/stove heats up and "pancake-time!". The plate that connects both "stoves" gets so warm that it works ideal to keep things warm while others are still being prepared.
The only two means of generating electricity, which was actually only used for the couple lamps in the tent, no electrical outlets = dead phone within the day. Roughly 45 mins on the bicycle would generate enough power to have light for a day.
The alternative was hooking the tent's big-ass-battery on wheels onto the genuine steam engine and have it do the dirty work for you.
Minimal but comfortable bedroom and a little away from the tent a traditional "outhouse"…
The bathroom was in a separate tent and had one of the most fun and rustic showers I've ever had the pleasure to use.
For warm water for bathing one could simply take a lovely little barrel on wheels to a nearby shed and fill it up.
Operated by cranking the lever back and fort, water gets pumped into a bucket with some holes and voila, shower!
This worked wonderfully for simply taking a shower, but some serious dedication and back and forth walking between the water shed and our washroom tent was needed when we planned to actually fill up that giant barrel for a nice hot bath.
So yea, in short: Good Times!
Below some more snapshots I took.