When I added glamping trip to my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 list, I described it like this: I've seen quite a few magazine articles about glamping - camping but with glamour - and it sounds like something I could really enjoy. Maybe a nice big tent that also has electric lights and running hot water! I knew it would be an adventure, and I was not disappointed when Robbie and I spent three days and two nights at Raven's Nest Nature Sanctuary near Patagonia, Arizona, this past March.
Everything about the adventure was absolutely perfect, which is why I've procrastinated so long in sharing about it. I'd planned to write about it and share photos right after we returned home, but as we settled back into our routines here at home I kept putting it off waiting to find time to write up the perfect post. From my first phone conversation with Claudia Campos-Pinto, co-owner of Raven's Way with her husband Vincent, I knew we'd found the perfect spot for our first glamping experience. Claudia exudes hospitality and provided just the right amount of personalized attention throughout our stay. Her policy is not to overlap guests, so we had the entire camp to ourselves until late on the morning of our departure.
Our luxury tent was fantastic! It's set up on a wood platform that also serves as an outdoor deck area.
Inside the tent, the queen size bed was covered in beautiful and comfortable linens, including an electric blanket, which was very much appreciated when the temperatures dipped into the 40s at night. The tent also held rustic wooden furniture (nightstands, bookshelves, chairs, a bench, etc), lamps, heaters, and nature books and art.
A short path from our tent, we had our own private enclosure with a shower & sink and a completely enclosed private bathroom containing an incinerator toilet. (Yes, there is such a thing!)
We elected to have all our meals at the camp. Claudia prepared five absolutely delicious all-organic meals for us!
These meals were served in the outdoor dining areas, and the table was set with beautiful pottery and an abundance of food at each meal!
Lots of battery-powered candles were added for extra ambience at the evening meals.
Here's the menu from just one of our meals:
*Organic roasted pepper & kale soup served with Focaccia
*Arugula with balsamic vinegar & mustard dressing
*Organic corn & red peppers with black sesame seeds
*Roasted asparagus with Parmesan & garlic
*Purple potatoes with Raven's Nest homemade salsa
*Free-Trade hot chocolate (When Claudia learned that we don't drink coffee, she prepared hot chocolate for us instead!)
*Coconut Cranberry Cake with Raspberry sauce, coconut & almonds
When we weren't enjoying one of Claudia's fabulous meals or sleeping cozily in our tent, we were enjoying the outdoors.
There are numerous trails throughout the preserve. We strolled through a Stone Age Village (which Vincent uses to teach survival skills) and the Lizard Labyrinth (that Vincent created as a gift for Claudia's birthday one year), taking lots of photos along the way.
The nature preserve is home to lots of wildlife. We saw a roadrunner on our first afternoon there, and heard a pack of coyotes hunting each evening.
We saw lots of species of birds, including a Vermillion flycatcher, which Claudia informed us is very rare (although we didn't capture a photo of it).
We also enjoyed simply relaxing and reading. I even did some Bible journaling and some still-life photography (which I'll share in another post)!
And the hammock was the perfect place to watch the sunset.
Raven's Way Wild Journeys also offers lots of other experiences - bird watching, survival skills, sustainable living practices, and nature science schools. Vincent spends most of his time teaching and guiding, while Claudia ensures that everything runs smoothly at the camp and prepares those delicious meals. Their home is on top of the mountain overlooking the entire camp, which you can see in the photo below. Those small tents were set up to accommodate university students who were arriving for hands on learning after our visit. To the left of the photo are the two luxury safari tents for glamping adventures.
Our glamping experience definitely exceeded our expectations, and it probably goes without say, but we highly recommend Raven's Way if you're ready to give glamping a try!
Here's a look at the completed page in my 50 Things mini- album.
Have you ever been glamping? Please share your experience in the comments.