Monday, January 3, 2011

First attempt at camping

Can you remember what happened over the weekend of 1-2 January 2011. (Easy on this weekend, LOL. It was New Year!) Gattina of Writer Cramps hosts the fun meme: What did you do this weekend? Do pop into her blog and join us in telling what you did this weekend!

At ten past three on Friday afternoon, the pick-up was loaded and we were ready to head out for the bushcamp thirty kilometers from town. Only problem is, it was raining and continued to rain!

Last week I said to Grant that I'd love to go camping for New Year. He was a little reticent as it has been raining here in the Free State for the past two weeks. I'm sure all the rain Australia has had recently, has now moved down to South Africa and pouring over us here! Most mornings dawn clear and by midday thick black clouds form overhead. Between three and five o'clock, the heavens open.  Then the sun appears and we enjoy lovely evenings until it sets at about 6.50pm! We've had on average of 50 mm of rain per day. The farmers need the rain, we gardeners love the rain, but camping in the rain? Mmmm.

However, we decided to "play it by ear". We provisionally booked a campsite at an 4x4 adventure farm in the mountains about 30km from town.

On Friday afternoon at ten to three, set up for a night of camping, we left town. Only problem was, it was raining! We turned off onto the dirt road towards the adventure farm and drove along in the pouring rain. Thick black clouds were hanging over the mountains we were ahead,  so Grant suggested I phone the owners of the farm to find out what the weather was like there. They confirmed what we already knew. It was raining so heavily there that they'd not been able to pitch the tent we'd ordered. We turned around and came home. All within the hour!

We drove into a cloudburst as we entered Marquard. Once inside the house, I grabbed my camera and photographed the downpour from the office window.

*Sigh* So much for my exciting camping trip in the wilds. However, Grant promised that if Saturday dawned bright and clear, we would make a second attempt at our camping trip. Which is what we did, but more about that tomorrow!

For New Year's Eve we were Darby and Joan and spent a quiet evening at home. We made a batch of samoosas and springrolls which we enjoyed with a cup of tea. We were in bed by nine!

At 4.10pm we were home again and watching this torrent from the office window!

On New Year's Eve, Grant and I made a batch of vegetarian springrolls and a batch each of meat and vegetarian samoosas. We froze the bulk of our labours and fried half a dozen each for a treat that evening. The last time we'd made these, was while living in Khartoum. You can see the recipes here and here. I must admit, the pastry we used there was far superior to the brand we managed to find here in South Africa. I wasn't impressed with the way the pastry curled away from the forms while cooking but the filling was as delicious as always!

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  1. Sounds a whole lot better than camping in the rain!!

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  2. Hi Jo, Sorry about your camping experience getting rained out... Hopefully you can go there on another weekend when the weather is better...

    We had alot of rain on Saturday here --and now it's cold again... But at least we had some sunshine today... YeeHaa....

    Your spring rolls look wonderful.


  3. It's really not that much fun to camp in the rain. The springrolls look like a much better idea. Maybe Sat was better?

  4. OOOO!!! How exciting to be reading a South African blog :) We also spent a Derby & Joan New Year's Eve - but we out pipped you as we stayed up till midnight!

    I love your pictures, Jo and your story telling. Sorry to hear your first attempt was "rained out," but I'm guessing you had better luck next day and I'm looking forward to the sequel!

    Very keen to try your samoosa and springrolls recipes, but pray, do tell which pastry brand I should not be buying ;)

    Oh, and BTW please blow some of your rain clouds down our way!!! We had a little yesterday but not more than a few millimetres :(

  5. Camping in the rain, that's awful everything gets wet until your bones ! Good that you returned home. Your New Year's eve was also very exciting, lol ! Like mine !

  6. awww too bad about the rain - there's nothing worse than being wet while camping - my camper's curse is wind ... it always seems to blow gales when I go into the wild ...

  7. Bad luck about the camping trip. Its not our rain because we still have it here. It was good for the farmers and the gardens when it started but now the farms are under water and our gardens are rotting. At least we are not as unfortunate as the thousands further north who have lost everything.It is a huge disaster.

  8. Isn't "if we go camping, it will rain" one of the laws of the universe?
    Just wanted to drop by and wish you a wonderful 2011. May you have health and happiness all through the year.

  9. Hi Jo, I wish you, grant and all of the family a very peaceful and Happy New Year. Thank you for visiting my blog over the past year with words of encouragement! Sorry your camping trip was rained off but it looks like you had a great picnic at home!
    Love & best wishes

  10. A blessed New Year Jo.
    Cheers and regards.

    i would rather put needles into my eyes

  12. Sorry to hear that your camping plans didn't work out due to the rain. "The best laid plans of mice and men gang oft agley," as Robert Burns once wrote.

    But it sounds like you had a cozy day together relaxing and making & eating spring rolls.


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