Indoctrinated...or not

After living in the UK for so long(8 years in June), I consider myself pretty fully indoctrinated into the culture here. The word "to-mah-to" has slipped out of my mouth on occasion.  I like Marmite.  I talk endlessly about the weather.  I have been to Blackpool. I sometimes forget the American words for "car park", "lorry" and "coriander".

Needless to say, I found myself thoroughly shocked when I realised how very different American camping is to its British counterpart. The expeditions of my teenage years were characterised by isolation, campfires, outhouses and fair hikes to the nearest shower (even when working at summer camps for people with disabilities). Not the 15 tents and their accompanying vehicles crammed into a field the size of my back yard that met us as we arrived at the Machrihanish Caravan and Camping Site. The views of the sea and hills were blocked out by a ring of camper vans and cooking was only allowed on gas-fired stoves.  Don't get me wrong, the campsite was nice and clean and I would recommend it, but it was not camping as I know it.  More like a "bring your own roof" motel.

(When we got back, I asked a number of my British friends if this is what camping is like here. The general consensus was yes, unless you go wild camping...though you may have different experiences.)

So rather than spending time at the campsite, we got out and explored the beauty of the Mull of Kintyre. There were many highlights of the journey:

The sea and its creatures and islands:
machrihanish bay kintyre kintyre view to jura

The Island of Gigha
 gigha gigha

Sun setting over the Atlantic
machrihanish bay 

In the end, British camping and I made a sort of trans-atlantic peace.  As the saying goes, "When in Rome...make s'mores out of chocolate digestives and pink marshmallow, because sometimes close enough has to do."

machrihanish bay

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