Camper van

In the Eden Project, Cornwall 2008

In the Eden Project, Cornwall 2008


By the time we drew into the campsite, the sun had dropped below the horizon and darkness was settling everywhere.

Through the windscreen, we could see row upon row of large motorhomes lit by electric light each powered by a hook-up. Inside, couples (mostly) sat in large cushioned seats watching sport or a soap or Countdown on the telly.

We parked up by the office reception, a small tidy looking building with plant pots set out in a line their colours glowing in the moonlight. We stopped and unclipped our seatbelts.

Stay here, we said to the kids.

But why? they said with a whine.

We’re just going in there, we said pointing to the building. We have to tell them we’ve arrived. Then they’ll tell us where we can park our van.

We jumped out of the van and breathed in the night air. I shook my head at the buzz of a mosquito near my ear, my hair falling all over my face.

What’re you doing? my husband said.

Mosquito, I said. They always find me.

It’s very quiet here, he said. No one about. Everybody seems to be inside.

Do you think we can have a fire? I said.

Pretty sure, no, said my husband pointing to a sign that read NO CAMPFIRES.

We opened the door to reception, knocking as we stepped inside. A large dog, the size of which I’d never seen before, lay in front of the desk. A deep rumbling growl echoed through its chest. We stayed close to the door. The dog eyed us before dropping its head back down onto its paws heaving a big sombre sigh.

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