Joe & Els Go Camping

So last week, we spent our time starting to clear some of the overgrown forest down by the stream, as well as building some paths and stairs. By the end of day 3, the first set of stairs were pretty much done, and the path was progressing well. 

 The morning after one of our bigger bonfires, looks like some kind of evil cult ring. 

The morning after one of our bigger bonfires, looks like some kind of evil cult ring. 

 Taking turns to finish the steps. 

Taking turns to finish the steps. 

 Making the most of the last of the light on Day 3, nearly done!

Making the most of the last of the light on Day 3, nearly done!

While Joe worked on the stairs, I started digging out a path further along. Using long and kind of straight branches, I created a border for the path to follow, packing the dirt around it to create a solid and flat walkway. 

 After chopping down a few rotten trees & breaking off some branches, a path started to emerge. 

After chopping down a few rotten trees & breaking off some branches, a path started to emerge. 

 Branches along the right marking out the path, now Joe starting to put some more steps in...

Branches along the right marking out the path, now Joe starting to put some more steps in...

We wandered further down the stream to see where we wanted the path to go, and to check out what trees needed to come down and get chopped back. It was then that we had our genius idea...why don't we camp?! We found a small clearing right by the stream, very peaceful and beautiful, and was on a more shallow slope than the rest of the area. It was late afternoon by this point, so the light was fading and we had to work fast. We dug out a clearing to put the tent, started gathering firewood, and getting supplies from the house. 

 The campsite before we started any work, perfect camping spot!...Right?.

The campsite before we started any work, perfect camping spot!...Right?.

It was one of the worst night's sleep I ever had. Or at least in the top 5. Don't get me wrong, we had such a wonderful evening! Nice food, some good ales and of course great company. But it was cold. So cold. And uncomfortable to say the least. We were pretty overexcited by the idea of camping, so didn't plan well and took very insubstantial bedding. It wasn't until the morning and seeing everything in a new light that we realised why it felt like we were slowing falling into an abyss all night. Sliiightly more sloped than we realised when putting up the tent in the dark... Plus the constant digging and cold were taking a bit of a toll, Joe and I had been doing vegetarian January, and never in my life have I craved meat so badly as I did that morning. 

 Easier to see why we were both rolling down the hill now...

Easier to see why we were both rolling down the hill now...

 Getting the fire started ASAP after waking up freezing cold.

Getting the fire started ASAP after waking up freezing cold.

After spending the morning recovering, we got to work! We moved the tent and dug out the camping spot a lot more, adding in more reinforcements around the edge, to create a larger and much flatter space to camp. Joe put in some more steps further up the slope so that clambering around at nighttime wouldn't be so difficult (we had both fallen over in the dark numerous times the night before, but then the beer could have had something to do with that too...). The day before we'd dug out a bench in the slope, but it was definitely not big enough for the both of us, so we widened that out and made it more comfy. We also gathered way more firewood, bought down extra bedding from the house, and of course, got more beer. 

 Dig, dig, dig...

Dig, dig, dig...

  MUCH  better!

MUCH better!

It was such a better night! Slept like a happy, dream-filled log. The extra prep work we did meant we were both so much more comfortable when hanging out in the evening, and the fire was way bigger so we were able to cook some delicious veggies. Sleeping in the tent was fine, despite temperatures dropping to -1 in the early hours of the morning! The ground was way more even, and we didn't have to keep swapping places every 3 hours take turns falling down the hill. Bliss!

We've still got so much more work to do, in 3-4 days we've basically done the width of half a field. Our plan is to keep moving along the stream; clearing, building and possibly camping as we go. The work is hard but so much fun, and plus the beautiful moments you get like this one make it all worth it.