Camping: Back to Basic!

I want to go down memory lane and tell you about a photoshoot I did a long time ago for dutch Glamour Magazine with photographer Paul Bellaart. Stylist Jetteke van Lexmond insisted on having me to shoot this story. It was a lovely experience to visit the Netherlands, and just the right kind of place for me!

The location of the shoot

We shot at a camp site at an Estate called "Thornspick" located in one of the most beautiful places in the Netherlands: the Veluwe. This estate had only 4 tents, surrounded by trees and plants, they were very luxurious and looked more like safari tents.

And now the fun part that I like:

To use the luxury you needed to work:

  • To get warm water you had to heat it.
  • To have electricity you had to ride a bike to generate electricity, that was then stored in a battery and was then ready for use.
  • Cooking was done by yourself ( that's ok!)
  • ...and for doing the dishes as well ( that's too bad...)
  • But... This way the camp site is CARBONEUTRAL! Pretty cool huh? Just like camping, that's cool too! The company is called "Het Verborgen Verblijf".

Translated in English it is something like "The Hidden Place". The link is in dutch, but you get a feeling of what it looks like.

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Going back to basic, doing everything yourself, together and with nature. I grew up camping with the family. We went multiple times a year. Those are my fondest memories of my childhood. We would stay in a "vouwwagen" or tent, and our daily entertainment wouldn't cost a thing. We would just go on an adventure in the woods next to the campsite, and bake potatoes and marshmallows on a bonfire. We would swim in a pond, or a river nearby. I would make friends from far away cities like Delft, or Leeuwarden, and we would become penpals and stay in contact after the vacation was over, and send each other mail the old school way. We played games. Not on a computer, we would play boardgames  and bingo until late at night, or we would make up our own games with whatever we found on the site. Good memories..

I hope more people will start seeing the beauty of going back to basic and instead of spending lots of money, go to nearby campsites, like this one. The kids will love it much more than an expensive hotel room!

The shoot went well and we all had renewed energy of being in a place like this. I went home with a box full of organic eggs, that were very tasty!

www.verborgenverblijf.nl

www.glamour.nl

These were the pictures we shot that day!

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Glamour 2010 shot at Thornspick

Glamour 2010 shot at Thornspick

Glamour 2010 shot at Thornspick

Glamour 2010 shot at Thornspick

Glamour 2010 shot at Thornspick

Glamour 2010 shot at Thornspick

 

Love, Lonneke

First published in 2013, updated in 2019


la Pause, Marrakech, Morocco

My job has taken me to amazing places, and I want to go back to one of my favorite memories.

One time, I spent at week in an oasis, in the desert about an half hour outside Marrakech. I shot there again for Scapa, this time in between horses, hills, desert and camels. And yes, I rode my first camel!

Although I did not get to see the beauty that Marrakech offers, I got a lot of serenity & beauty at La Pause. La Pause - the name says it all- makes the time stop, makes you chill out. This resort is as I mentioned before, located in an oasis, hidden in hills ,in the middle of nowhere.

La Pause Marrakech

Image courtesy of La Pause

You could either sleep in bedouin tents, or in the cubical houses, made of clay and hay. Inside you light candles to actually see a thing, because there is no electricity. The women who take care of this place, light dozens of them before you arrive back after your dinner. It is so romantic! There are working toilets ( I am still figuring out where the pipes go to...)and a shower gives a bit of hot water.

La Pause Marrakech 2

Image courtesy of La Pause

For a few days I was basically out of touch with everyone and I couldn't reach anyone, and that was kind of great actually. Be in the moment.  They had 2 super sweet dogs that would come keep me company when I was laying down in the sand on the hill, gazing at the thousands of stars in the midnight sky...

La Pause Marrakech 3

Image courtesy of La Pause

The food was great, a lot of fresh vegetables ( I mean A LOT) so for vegetarians it's heaven! Talking about fresh rucola that was still in the ground about half an hour before lunch... so nice!

But I think the meat and chicken are organic, so meat eaters, there is something for you too. Only problem?: You eat too much. Good thing: It is all pretty low calories,as cheese and fatty sauces are not used. I mean, where are they supposed to keep those things cooled? There is no electricity!

And phone service, if you are lucky , is only working on top of the mountain. And there is a generator, that once a day, will be turned on to clean the pool ( yes there is a tiny cute pool!) Plug in your phone charger if there is an outlet left!

And my favorite thing: we could go on a horse riding trip, by sunset for instance. What was great is that the foals of the horses you ride, actually go with you on the trip. This way it feels like you are in a wild group of horses, as they are running around while you are enjoying the view!

Besides that you can rent quads, ride the camels or use the homemade sauna.

Owner Frederic, arrived there years ago, and made la Pause a wonderful place to find tranquility, good food and wonderful nature.

I had a great time! I would definitely recommend going to this place on vacation. Or even go for lunch when in Marrakech. It is worth it! ( For instance, when I was there, ex-professional cyclist Richard Virenque visited La Pause for lunch with friends & family)

Below is a compilation of my favorite pictures from the photo shoot. I think it turned out great and captured the feeling of this magical place. Photos are by Paul Bellaart 

www.lapause-marrakech.com

Love, Lonneke

P.s.: Everything was great but I was a bit upset about the many dogs , donkeys and horses I saw on my way to La Pause, that are trying to survive by themselves. A lot of people in Morocco see these animals sometimes just as means for survival themselves. If you want to do something, visit the websites of a few great charities below, that do their best to help animals around the world not suffer.

www.wspa-international.org