By: Blonde Two
Blonde One and I have mentioned before that we would like to own and run our own bunkhouse one day. There is something about the atmosphere (albeit sometimes a bit damp and chilly) in these shared spaces that always makes me relax. Here are some ideas about what it might be:
The wrinkled (or complete lack of) carpets
When you have had a day outdoors balancing in bogs and rolling down rocks, it can be a bit of a shock to come back to your pristine house clad in your definitely not pristine outdoor gear. Returning home to a bunkhouse is kind of a half-way step, despite having all (well some) of the cosiness of a home, a bunkhouse will never rebuke you for having muddy boots or dropping bits of grass in the kitchen.
The temperamental wood burner
Many bunkhouses have wood burning stoves to warm your cockles (and other bits). Even if they do, it is worth hoping that they also have another form of heating because wood burning stoves that live in bunkhouses are usually the ill-disciplined and mischievous ones that house-type people have rejected. There is, however not very much to do in a bunkhouse so having an inanimate object to fiddle with, cajole, disagree with other people about and swear at all evening is often an advantage.
The sharing thing
When you stay in a bunkhouse you have to share. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like the look of the other occupants (mine were lovely last weekend), you have to share the sofa, the wood burner arguments, the kitchen facilities, the mug you have chosen as your own and the loo paper with them. You also have to talk to them and this is a very good thing. We don’t do enough actual talking to each other these days. Give it a try, you will find that you can chat an evening away without even a glimpse of a TV, Face-Arse or Insta-Ignore.
The spirit of adventure
A double meaning here because the last (and most excellent) bunkhouse that I stayed in was that belonging to Spirit of Adventure at Powder Mills on Dartmoor. This is a particularly spacious and well-equipped example of the accommodation genre and I would thoroughly recommend it. As well as being a comfortable and enjoyable home for the weekend, the Spirit of Adventure bunkhouse was also imbibed with what I can only describe as ‘a spirit of adventure’. A bit like old houses or castles, bunkhouses seem to absorb the adventures of their many visitors into their walls. These adventures seep out slowly and, if you allow them to, encourage you to daring deeds of your own.
If you have never tried a bunkhouse then what on earth are you waiting for? We try to introduce our youngsters to as many as possible, we like to share a giggling dorm with our DofE mates from time to time and we love trying out new bunkhouses and planning our own.