My human asked me if I would consider going camping with his brother and sister in-law over the long weekend at the end of August. My response "Sure, as long as it's not the Bear Grylls kind of camping you and your brother do". I like camping...at a campsite, with a fire pit, and some necessities, like a toilet facility and shower. But this was a whole new level of experience! Now, I term "Bear Grylls Camping" to be real wild life, live off the earth kind of camping, the way Bear Grylls does on television. Our camping trip wasn't exactly like that...we took food with us, and didn't have to eat bugs, or any type of reptile, thank goodness!
So it was decided, we were going camping in Brecon Beacons National Park for four days, us four and the two dogs, Bennie and Mocha. As my human would put it, "I had all the gear, and no idea!"
After our four hour drive from London to South Wales, we did an hour and a half hike ( me in my trusty mustache gumboots!) to where we were to set up camp. The whole hike there I couldn't believe I had agreed to do this, I had voluntarily said yes to carrying a ton on my back through long grass, mud and stinging nettles, and up the steepest hill! The dogs on the other hand ploughed through it all, so excited about the adventure they were on. The amount I value our little dog Bennie could never be completely described in words, he always stops and looks back to check on me, making sure I haven't fallen too far behind, that I'm still alright with the task he's so happily doing. When we got to the top, the guys got to work setting up camp and making a fire in between tall pine trees, and I set off to explore our surroundings with Norman (my camera) in hand... And it was magical! The trees looked like the could touch the sky, they were so tall, and there was moss covering everything, on the rocks and hanging from the trees. As I kept walking the scene changed from mossy greens to autumn browns and it all looked so gloriously secluded and untouched. The dogs were in their element, sniffing every little this and that. Mocha (my person's, brother's Jack Russell) was super keen to jump in and out the little streams and explore all the new smells.
Being in the woods like that, make one appreciate the small things like a tap with water, an extra blanket in the cupboard when you're cold, clean socks and a stove. But I was so amazed at how efficient my human and his brother are with the resources they have at their disposal in the wild. They knew where and how to set up our camp, got our fire going, collected logs to keep the fire going, collected water and boiled it, prepared our meals, and when we left, there was very little trace that we had been there at all...well rounded wildlife camping men!
Next time...and yes there will be a next time...I will be more prepared, now that I know what to expect! Nature is beautiful and mystical, and there is nothing quite like breathing in that glori
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