Dad decided last Sunday that we should all go on a camping trip.

He read an article in the Sunday paper about camping and how it “brings families together under the canopy of nature.”

“Overrated,” I joked. “What about the canopy of television or the canopy of restaurant food?”

“This will be good for us,” Dad said, sliding the magazine across the coffee table. “Let’s go next week-end.”

I shot a quick look over at my little brother, Paul. He gave me a slow eyebrow raise which meant, “This will probably not go off completely as planned Text 7 CANOPY OF NATURE.”

My smile back said, "But it will surely be fun."

I started to think back. Once Dad decided “we should all learn how to canoe.” We borrowed two canoes from our friends, hoisted them on the van and drove for three hours to a secluded lake in Virginia. Once we got there, we discovered that we had forgotten the paddles.

Paul and I got in a canoe with Dad, and our two younger sisters got in a canoe with Mom. We floated aimlessly around the lake for hours. Then we all jumped in with our life jackets on. We Text 7 CANOPY OF NATURE pushed the canoes back to shore. It was a fantastic trip.

Another time, Dad decided “we should all learn how to ski.” All of us hate the cold so we spent the week-end huddled by the fire, drinking hot cocoa in the ski lodge and playing board games. It was great. We had a blast.

When I stopped daydreaming, Mom was saying, “Sweetheart, we don’t have a tent.”

“We don’t need one!” Dad said happily. “We’ll take all the seats out the van when we get to the campsite and put in an air mattress.”

I don't Text 7 CANOPY OF NATURE know what the punch line will be on this excursion, but I am sure with Mom, Dad and the four of us kids scrunched in a van at some national park, we are bound to have a good time.


Christina Dodwell was born in Nigeria and has always loved travelling. She has been a traveler and travel writer since her mid-twenties. She has made journeys by horse around Africa, New Guinea and Turkey. She has also travelled by canoe, dog sledge and micro light in China, Kamchatka and West Africa, though she hasn’t Text 7 CANOPY OF NATURE been to the poles.

Christina once spent time with cannibals but doesn’t worry about danger. She never shows fear and when she thinks there could be trouble, she says, ‘My husband is a policeman. He’s waiting for me in the next village’.

Christina lives with her husband on a farm surrounded by horses and cattle. She works for a charity that she set up to help the Third World and she often makes TV and radio programmes. She is now working on a programme for BBC radio about indigenous culture in Ethiopia. Her books have been translated into Text 7 CANOPY OF NATURE several languages.

Benedict Allen is an experienced explorer who has visited remote natural environments all over the world . He has lived with the Amazon Indians, with a tribe in New Guinea and with Aborigines in Australia. He has crossed the Amazon forest with no map or compass, walked across the mountains of New Guinea and canoed from New Guinea to Australia . He has also made journeys across the Gobi and Namib deserts on foot and by camel and trekked across the Arctic . He has been lost in the jungle more than once and survived by copying the Text 7 CANOPY OF NATURE local tribes and eating plants .

Benedict doesn’t like travelling with people and he usually makes films of his journeys without a film crew . He doesn’t get lonely because he makes friends wherever he goes, even of his camels! He also talks to his to his video camera .

‘It’s getting hot out here . Hotter than I’ve ever been ,’ he said on his trip in Namibia when temperatures reached 50o C.

Benedict has worked for the BBC for years and has made several television series . He has also written nine books . His TV programmes and books have made him Text 7 CANOPY OF NATURE very popular in the UK . He isn’t travelling at the moment but is promoting his latest book , Icedogs , about 1,000-mile trek through Siberia .

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