Tuesday 19 July 2011

Of Bugs, BBQ's and Adventures...

This last weekend was a 3 day holiday so we went off camping. We didn't go too far, to a place called Hanno about an hour and a half drive away. We got to the campsite and pitched the tent then we needed to go to the supermarket for food and beer. It was already lunch time so we stopped at this cute little place called Cafe Turnip, if you are in the area I highly recommend it, the food and staff were lovely.
The campsite is split in two by the river, they have 3 camping areas, the first is auto camp which means you can park your car next to the tent, it is more expensive and it was busy with about 6" between tents I didn't fancy it. Then there was an area near the cabins that also had an area for tents but again they were packed next to each other and then there was the place we chose which was basically free camping, pick a spot and pitch your tent. The only drawback was you have to carry everything down some stairs, across a 'bridge' (some poles strapped together) over the river, up a load more steps, across a field then into the woods, I am telling you, after all that beer has never tasted so good lol.

The weather was fine all weekend so we ate al fresco, the boys enjoying the traditional breakfast of sausage, bacon, eggs and fried potatoes (picture above). 
Ebi-kun was in bug heaven, I actually caught this stick insect when I went to the toilet in the evening but when I came back Ebi-kun had fallen asleep so I had to keep in the bug box until the morning. Bugs in Japan are so big compared to the ones back home!

We did some exploring, Ebi-kun was very excited to have a compass and had to keep telling up where we were going (yes, in the car, all the way to the campsite).

See, we had plenty of space and we did spread ourselves out quite a bit. The site was quite crowded because it is only about an hour from Tokyo. A lot of people just turned up for the day, barbecued by the river then headed off in the afternoon and both nights the cabins were full with elementary kids on school trips.
I finally got round to using this Dutch pan that my swap partner Kristel sent me. I can't use it on the IH stove at home but thought it would be OK on the BBQ, this time I remember to pack it. The proper recipe isn't really suitable for preparing for at camp so I used a hotcake mix instead. Everyone loved them, I have packed the pan in the camping box so we don't forget it in the future.
 Yum, mini dutch pancakes and jam, would have been good with maple syrup or cream too.
 Random picture of under the trees.
More bugs, most of them Ebi-kun caught and then sketched them and then let the bugs go, we did bring home a few new friends. This was an old cicada and was about to die, Ebi-kun said 'I think the cicada will die happy because he made a friend before he died (himself) and now the ants will eat him so the ants are happy too, that's nature'.
More food, isn't that what camp is all about? We tried s'mores for the first time, I read somewhere on the net that Canadians use chocolate digestives and sandwich a melted marshmallow in the middle, they were good but we all decided we preferred just the plain toasted marshmallow!

 All that eating, exploring and bug catching is hard work....
I'll share the river pictures tomorrow. We have a big typhoon on the way, I have already got soaked twice today, once going to the train station to mail some orders (I was hoping to get them off before the rain started but the stupid guy at the station was faffing around for ages, so I got wet) and then we had to go to the yochien and I got wet again. Hopefully, I won't have to leave the house again until it has passed....


  1. What a great weekend. That stick insect is HUGE. Shou would love it too. Looks like you have all the gear for camping. I'd love to start getting it all - once the kids are a bit bigger and able to be used as carry horses and tent putter upperers.

    hmmmm, bet that beer tasted great!

  2. Wet here too!
    The camping looked brilliant, though you can keep the bugs x


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