01 February, 2015

Camping trip #1 for 2015

We came back from camping yesterday. We were on the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast, in country that we've never explored before. it was gorgeous.

We camped for three nights. A first for us: camping this long without visiting a shop. We had no electricity or running water or fridge at our campsite. We weren't free-camping, though, a short hike up a steep bank gave us access to toilets, showers, and water. And even a microwave and free gas BBQs, if we'd wished to use them.

The best aspect of the camp was the creek nearby. We could paddle whenever we felt too hot. And went swimming several times.
The creek was among the trees just beyond the tent.
Another great thing about the camp was the timing, because most schools went back last week we basically had to place to ourselves the first two nights. That gave the boys plenty of room to play cricket whenever they had a free moment.

Open fires were allowed and we took advantage of that. It's not truly a camp unless you can have a fire!

It was exciting to see the boys get into the camp, even our most reluctant camper to admit that he was happy to be there. He was a willing helper as we packed up and unpacked at the other end at home, that's satisfying.
The creek beyond the trees. This was between ankle and
mid-calf deep.
This was our fireplace. A old repurposed wheel
barrel provided nice containment for the fire.
If you cut the trees down you'd see the creek.

Standing in the creek looking back towards our tent.

This inquisitive visitor came by during dinner one night.

The light was poor, but this was my perfect camping
dessert on our second night. A banana cooked in foil
in the fire with chocolate buds and marshmallows.
Delicious! We all made our own, according to our own tastes.
A little bit further down the creek it widened out and deepened.
We could have played here for hours. In the centre of the
photo is a rope swing that the boys used to leap into the water.
There was another one further along that was easier to get onto
that even I tried (and resulted in me swallowing lots of creek water
and I now sport a bruise on my hip when I slipped and landed too
close to shore).
During one quiet moment on the bank of the creek I spotted
this dragonfly sitting on a rock.
I had coffee with a friend a week or so ago. A good friend, but one whom I haven't become friends with because we share similar interests. Our parents were friends before we were born. Our relationship has been a cousin-like relationship. It's only in the last 10 years that we've developed a very strong friendship. Anyway, a week ago she expressed her distaste for camping. She said she particularly hated the insects, walking to the toilet at night, and sleeping on the ground.

I have to say I don't like walking to the toilet at night. Nor do I like camp showers (I always shower with rubber thongs (aka US/Brit flip-flops) on because I'm can't stand the feeling of communal wet tiles under my feet. Sleeping in a tent and on (good) air beds I can cope with. 

I can cope with the insects, as long as they are in their environment, and not inside the tent. The dirt doesn't bother me, as long as people take their shoes off at the tent door. 

I love the challenge of providing food in the simplicity of a camping environment.

I like the feeling of surviving without the usual trappings. 
I like not having people trapped by electronic screens (me included). 
I like seeing boys doing things that they normally can't. 
I like the meal clean-up routine we've got going (one boy with one parent, the conversations you can have at such a time are precious).

I love the serenity and how just two or three days of camping, though physically demanding, can feel longer and return you to daily life feeling refreshed and somehow cleansed.

So, we're headed back into "real" daily life now. School starts tomorrow. Our first formal deputation meeting in several weeks is next Sunday, in fact we've got four of them in eight days. And probably I'll be getting back to regular blogging too.

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