Useful camping tip: Check that your gas bottle has gas in it. Here is a picture of our empty gas bottle, with Steve making a fire in the background:
We had to prepare dinner and breakfast with a fire, as we had no other way of heating our food. This meant quite a lot of work, as we had to find firewood for the fire too (we hadn’t brought any firewood, as we’d been expecting to use gas). The forest near the campsite was pretty bare of suitable wood, as lots of other people had been gathering firewood too. It really makes you appreciate the conveniences of everyday life. When having a cup of tea means finding firewood, building a fire, getting water from the stream for the pot (we only had one), and waiting – and waiting and waiting – for the water to boil, and walking out to the car (about 10 metres, or a bit more) to get the milk out of the esky, you start to realise how easy it usually is.
Despite all that, I really enjoyed our little camping trip. We were only there for a day, but it seems longer than that. There’s something about cutting back to the basics and living all day outside that is very fulfilling. It reminds me of the deep feeling of rightness I felt walking through the veldt at the Kruger Park – it felt very comfortable and happy and right, even though there might have been a lion or a rhino behind any bush. I suppose that all those millenia of living outdoors or mostly outdoors can’t be overwritten by a lifetime of modern conveniences.
Will have to organise a bigger camping trip sometime, although this time I’ll make sure we have gas, something soft to sit on, and more than one cooking pot! But there will definitely be repeats of paddling in the stream, walking barefoot around the camp and down to the river, and sitting on a rock crocheting. Prepare your summer-feet and break out your crochet hooks! Who’s in? :p
PS – there’re no showers, the toilets are long-drop ones and we couldn’t find a water tap… But that’s just part of the fun…