Local Heart, Global Soul

November 3, 2011

Finding Accommodating Accommodation… a Pipo Wagon!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

What on earth is a “Pipo Wagen”? (Pipo Wagon).

Apparently, according to Himself, every Dutch citizen “of a certain age”  knows instantly what a “Pipo wagen”  is because of a famous television show that is ingrained in the memory of many a Dutch childhood.

The programme, called ” Pipo de Clown ” aired in one variety or another  from 1958 to 1968 and from 1974 to 1980 and was later transformed into a stage production, shows of which still run today.

“Pipo” the clown who starred as the central character of the series, lived with his family in an old fashioned wooden gypsy style wagon and due to the TV programmes popularity, any wagon with this shape and style quickly became known as a “Pipo Wagen”.

I get the idea that any Dutch person who remembers the TV Pipo instantly is reminded of the dream of childhood adventures whenever they see a “Pipo  Wagen”, and why not? the wagons are very cute after all.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The camp site here has a Pipo Wagen that houses a double bed, a couch and a small table and chairs, but in addition the owners have built a permanent veranda next to it so that there is a bigger sitting area under-cover outside. This summer they added a small kitchenette on one end of the veranda and a toilet cubicle as well, so this meant that I didn’t need to hobble to the camps toilet block in the middle of the night it nature called.

It is however not insulated so not suitable for winter stays, but the camp-site closes for the winter months at the end of October anyway and although the evenings are getting noticeably more chilly, we are still comfortable enough sitting outside under the cover of the veranda.

Each kid wanted to spend one night in the tent with Himself, and the tent we took with us is a decent sized two-person tent but a tad too tight a squeeze for three, so I would bunk down in the double bed inside the Pipo wagon with Little Mr. one night and with Kiwi Daughter the next.

The Pipo wagon isn’t on a lean btw, I was, on the crutches…

The weather was iffy, intermittent drizzle  and dry so we were very pleased to have a cover outside as the interior of the Pipo wagon is rather small for the four of us and especially for the likes of boisterous six year old Little Mr’s.

The camp site also has various other accommodations hidden in the trees…  There are “trekkershuisjes” (also known as “Trekkershuts”) This translates to “Treker’s  Houses / Huts” and they come in various forms. They are found throughout the Netherlands on camp-sites and  they vary in size, but the most basic of them are a square wooden huts with two sets of bunk beds, a tiny table, some extend to having electricity and a hotplate with two elements…  and others, like the one we saw here is larger and built of more permanent materials and even has a log burner inside.

All are very basic accommodation though… the sort of thing you want if you just need a bed on a budget and don’t want the hassle of carrying around your own tenting equipment. Our tent is put up and the kids sort out the finer details of who is sleeping where… and et voila! our city kids are suddenly “campers” (of sorts).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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