For as long as I can remember, I’ve yearned to traverse the Serengeti, gawking at lions and zebras from the back of a Land Rover and eating gourmet meals in my well-appointed Abercrombie & Kent tent. In short, I want to go glamping. Glamping, for the uninitiated, is a wonderful portmanteau of “glamorous” and “camping”—for when you want to spend time in nature, just not without your hair straightener.
Since a twenty-hour flight to Nairobi isn’t in my near future, I decided awhile back to book the next available weekend stay, almost three months out, at Sinya, a handsome tan-and-green tent on a bluff overlooking Lone Man Creek, just outside Wimberley. Lynn Gallimore’s luxurious five-year-old retreat, which sleeps two, is about as far from roughing it as you can get: there’s air-conditioning, a plush king bed with down pillows, a claw-foot tub, two cowhide rugs, and, most important, indoor plumbing.
Sinya was made for simply lounging. Afternoons are best spent by the creek just below the bluff or lying in the hammock on the veranda reading Out of Africa.
Let me tell you, lazing about in such close proximity to nature works up quite the appetite. Fortunately, meals at Sinya are deeply satisfying affairs. A breakfast spread of yogurt, granola, fruit, and fresh pastries awaited us in the morning. For a late lunch, we grabbed our wicker picnic basket full of bread, cheese, fruit, and olives and drove less than six miles to Blue Hole, where we dined at one of the limestone tables beside the clear, cool water and cypress trees. We continued our drive five miles up FM 2325 to marvel at Jacob’s Well, a constantly flowing karstic spring with a treacherous underwater system of caves. Unable to bear any more time away from the glampsite, we picked up steaks and potatoes while in town. We cooked over the fire pit that evening, and since a day of sloth is best ended with gluttony, we finished up with a s’mores course.
As for wildlife, there’s plenty, so long as you’re creative: Gallimore has a Pomeranian named Brando, who wandered inside the tent a few times (I squinted and convinced myself he was a very fluffy lion cub). A copy of The Sibley Guide to Birds sits on the bookshelf, the better to identify the songbirds fluttering around a nearby feeder. And there are a few stray peacocks on the premises, which scream kind of like hyenas. Until I save enough pennies for that safari, a weekend in the wilds of the Hill Country will more than do.