It’s that season again… Czech camping time and not before time! It’s arrived a little late this year due to the vagaries of the global weather system but no matter – join us as we load the van, grab the family and head off to our favourite campsite in the Beskid mountains… Autocamping Kněhyně.
Now, no-one could accuse this campsite of being posh but if you want luxury accommodation, there’s plenty of it in the nearby towns and villages. However, the staff are friendly and the it has everything you need from a campsite, like somewhere to pitch a tent or park your van, fire pits for that authentic smoky taste in your food, toilets and showers and a bar.
The site is in a good location for walks and seeing the local sights, including the lovely architecture and ridge walk from Pustevny to Radhošt. There are some nice restaurants in the neighbourhood as well if you get tired of smoky sausages and barbecues.
As this was our first camping trip since last summer, all our gear was spread liberally among cellars and cupboards and took a bit of sorting out. Like truly organised people, we slung it all in the Van Rouge and decided to sort it out when we got there.
Another thing which needed sorting out was a fridge. I’ve tried various methods before, some more successful than others. This weekend I plumped for the evaporation of water in sunshine as a cooling medium, using a wet towel over the top of an Aylesbury Vale District Council recycling box. How I came by this box is a bit of a mystery, seeing as I’ve never lived in Aylesbury Vale but all attempts to get rid of it have failed over the years so I have adopted it.
As it turned out, this method wasn’t too bad. Next time I’ll try using strips of cloth to let the breeze circulate a bit more and maybe raise it up off the ground a bit. If anyone has any experience of improvised refrigeration, I’d be interested to hear about it – there’s a comments form at the bottom of this post.
Once the van was sorted out, we got down to some proper camping, i.e. lounging about in the sun doing as little as possible. Our Kid took care of Running Around Like A Lunatic, ably assisted by Our Dog. Somehow, we managed to cook lunch and an early afternoon meal with no casualties and made an awning for the van with a tarpaulin, thin saplings and bungees, all held together with a few yards of hairy string. An awning is the only major piece missing from our gear and something I haven’t managed to sort out with any success so far. Everything I’ve tried has sooner or later been destroyed by the wind.
Around dusk, with no warning, Our Kid stopped running round like a lunatic. It was as if his batteries had run out. He just sat down for a rest and fell asleep. I love this fresh mountain air!
Our Dog wasn’t far behind – she jumped in the van, curled up next to Our Kid and that was that, peace at last! Our Lass and I sat up with the remains of the fire, watching a massive thunderstorm ponderously bypass our valley. It literally built up on all sides, towering way up into the sky, blasting giant flashes of lightning which lit the place up like daylight and left us completely alone. A beautiful sight indeed and a good time to go to bed, we thought.
For myself, I fell into a deep and satisfying sleep. Not so Our Lass. She was kept awake by the wind banging a corner of the tarp on the roof of the van, so she woke me up to take it all down. Once again, the wind had thwarted my awning ambitions!
Sadly, this was only a short trip because we had a family gathering to attend back home. However, most of the camping kit has now been found, cleaned up and stored in the van ready to go next time so hopefully, we can share a few more campsites with you soon!
I’ll leave you with a few more pictures to give you a taste of the area. It tastes pretty good to us, why not come and try a slice?