I like showering. No lazing in long baths using up gallons of water for me, I am happy to have a short shower and save some water. But showering in the dark is taking being environmentally friendly a step too far!
On our last trip to Spain we found that many campsites had invested in lighting that reacts to movement sensors, an excellent idea in theory. The lights sense your presence and come on when you enter the facilities block and, when no movement has been detected for some time, will go off, by which time you should have finished your ablutions and left. By not relying on unreliable humans to remember to turn the lights out precious energy can be saved. A marvellous small step towards tackling climate change.
And yet, this system all depends where you put the sensors and how long the timer for the lights is set for. On the Spanish campsites we visited, the sensors were usually placed above the main door, convenient for detecting people as they came in and out. The flaw in this system is that while I am hidden behind the shower cubicle door in an evening, the not-very-clever sensor detects no movement.
Picture the scene, I will be scrubbing off the Spanish dust after a day walking or cycling. I am happily humming a tune and thinking about the wonderful places we have seen that day when suddenly blackness descends as the timer clicks the lights off!
As I see it, at this moment I have three choices, none of which make for blissful bathing.
Option one is to continue showering despite the dark. Do I really need to see what I am doing? Do I want to risk falling over the soap, mislaying my flannel or banging into the door? Having decided being light-less is impractical, I start to hope option two might work out. I continue to run the water, hoping another camper will decide to use the facilities, come through the door any moment and trip the light sensor so that I can once again see what I am doing.
Of course, we are usually in Spain when it is out of season, the campsites are quiet and most people shower in the mornings, so after waiting a minute or so I have to resort to option three. In desperation and now hoping the opposite to option two, that no one does decide to use the facilities, I grab my towel and rush dripping out of the cubicle. I then dance in front of the sensor, waving my arms and kicking my legs like an unhinged bather until the lights return!
Should you ever witness this shower shimmy, please don’t judge me too harshly … perhaps I should just take a torch to the showers!