With the bank holiday upon us it was decided that despite the unfavourable weather forecast it was time to try out the new tent. So we loaded up the car with enough stuff to keep us going for days and set off to our destination to find a suitable camping site. On arrival we did a quick reconnoitre for suitable sites and although our prefered spot was taken we found what on reflection was an even better site overlooking Murlough Bay , sheltered from the sea breeze and with good cover from trees
Fire with no matches
There was evidence that someone had been here recently in the form of a ring of stones and some ash. Despite the fact that I had hoped to make camp from scratch it was decided that it would be better to minimalise our impact on the area by reusing the non bush-friendly fire site. I say unfriendly simply because the previous users had not cleaned up the fire after themselves, most likely through lack of knowledge rather than any real intent. Proper etiquette dictates that the fire should be dismantled and scattered after use, ensuring it is out first of course. It also champtions the idea of preparing the site first to reduce the damage to the ground, wether by digging up the top layer of sod, or maybe building on a platform.
In any case I did get my ‘bushcraft kick’ by managing to light the fire without the use of conventional methods (lighter, matches) I used the spark method, striking a fire iron onto some tinder, in this case birch bark, and only because of the damp conditions and our increasing hunger pangs, some cotton wool teased apart. I had only one brief set back, when some of the kindling put the fire out (shredded cardboard is not recommended), but a few more strikes and we were back on track. We came prepared bringing our own firewood, not very ‘bush’, but it was wet and we were hungry.
A fine menu was created, fresh whole trout cooked with lime, chili and coriander in foil on the open fire. Meanwhile we had some rice cooking with cloves and cinamon in the trangia stove (meths burner) and some oyster mushrooms frying on top (trangia are a handy implement to take on any camping trip) and finally some fruit bread dough, spread on a board, fashioned earlier that day from sone scraps of wood, beside the fire. With the exception of the bread it was a culinery success, almost topped by the mushroom omelete and cheese bread thrown together for breakfast. As for the bread its back to the bread board! I think the dough was fine, perhaps it was just the fault of the board which caught on fire at one point!
A fine time had by one and all
We all three had a great time, Gracie enjoyed racing around and even had a run in with a deer! She particularly enjoyed getting cosy in the tent beside her two pack buddies, and in true Gracie fashion managed to get herself snug inside Zoes Sleeping bag even though she had her own.
One great thing about the trip, not a computer in sight!