As Monday rolls around it is time to reflect on another great weekend in the mountains with family and friends.
On Saturday morning we boarded The Landy and headed to Turon Gates, a rural property not too far from a great Australian wine growing region, Mudgee, to the west of Sydney.
It is a comfortable three-hour drive in the The Landy, which is no speed machine, especially when towing our T-Van, a specialist camper trailer designed for extreme travel. This weekend it would not be put to its full potential, and with plenty of mountaineering and overseas travel over the next 12 months, it is unlikely to see the red bull-dust of the Australian Outback anytime soon.
We did pass some of my favourite climbing areas on the drive, but this weekend was about relaxing, eating, and eating, and relaxing, with Janet, TomO and family friends.
Crikey, did we eat or what?
And don’t you just love camp food prepared in a camp oven and dining under the stars beside a crackling camp fire…
Now I must say, Janet and I both love experiencing different foods from around the world, and enjoy a night dining out. But it is hard to beat cooking up and dining on some camp grub!
And no camping trip would be complete without Janet knocking out one of her (world famous) dampers. Lavished with Golden Syrup, or Cocky’s Joy, as it is commonly referred to, it is simply the Bees Knees. From the time it is pulled from the camp oven, to the time when the last piece is devoured, you won’t hear a whisper from anyone, just the sounds of the Australian Bush punctuated by the groans of delight as the Golden Syrup trickles down your hand…
Joining us for the weekend were our good friends The Todd’s; Bob and Annette, and David and Stephen. They’re like family to us and we’ve been travelling this great country of ours with them for as long as we can remember. A work colleague of Bob’s also came along to experience the Australian Bush…
The Todd Boys, The Boys, as we affectionately know them, are like brothers’ to our son TomO, and talk about being as thick as thieves.
Apart from growing taller, The Boys and TomO haven’t changed much. Although, the conversation seems to have moved from toy cars and teddy bears to girls these days…
Bob and I go back a long way…I even got to spin a few tales about him in my role as “Best Man” on their wedding day.
Together, we’ve cut a path along the Kokoda Track in the wild jungles of Papua New Guinea and paddled the Papuan Coast extensively on our kayaks.
Strewth, we’ve even spent a great New Year’s Eve on the small island nation of Nauru, at the Nauru Phosphate Club, helping to de-stock the Nation’s supply of Foster’s Lager, but heck that is a yarn for another day, if I ever get around to remembering it.
I’m sure Bob was a pyromaniac in another life-time, but rest assured he can set the best camp-fires ever and then cook up a storm in his camp oven. The Todd’s feasted on roast lamb and vegetables, while we settled for a good old rump steak on the barbie.
Now I must do a couple of call-outs here.
I have been fortunate enough to have found a fantastic blog called Picture Real Food, by Marisa, which has some wonderful recipes. This weekend I tried out her Bull’s Blood Mushrooms, and all I can say is if you are into mushrooms give this a go…and if you’re not into them still give it a go, because you’ll end up a convert!
The other call-out is to a mad-as-a-cut snake New Yorker who goes by the name of Icescreammama. Recently she had some really nice things to say about some Aussie bloke so I drank a toast to her on his behalf and the recent success she has had in a writing competition.
Geez, I actually had a couple of beers, a bit unusual for me ahead of my preparation for next year’s full-on mountaineering calendar.
Blow-me-down, I thought people like Icescreammama only existed on those American sit-coms you see on the Telly, when it is working. But there she is, larger than life. Mind you, I’m betting she is one of those New Yorkers’ that drinks cor-fee instead of coffee.
And did I get around to mentioning one of my favourite parts of any camping trip.
And this is after we get our fill of vegemite on toast, after all it wouldn’t be Australian to leave it at home!
There is something that is good for the soul about a lazy start to the day, getting a fire going, and then throwing a couple of jaffle irons onto the coals with your favourite filling stuffed between two slices of bread!
Janet made up some savoury mince, and her jaffles were the ant’s pants; seriously to die for.
And no outing would be complete without someone falling into the water. Usually it is TomO, because he was a fish in a previous life, but this weekend it was my turn as I filled up the water bucket – it must have been those two beers I had the night before that gave me a wobbly boot.
Geez, you just gotta love getting “Out and About” – bring on life!
And hey!… Don’t forget to Like The Landy on Facebook to catch up on more photos and happenings while he’s “Out and About”…
Besides with only 29 likes he’s starting to think he’s more “off” than an “Outback Dunny” in the mid-day sun!
Okay, I’m comin’ camping with you guys! 🙂
You’re welcome, a very sociable affair!
That picture of the mountains is awesome!! I love camping- used to live much closer to some great camping spots- definitely miss those days!!
Well impressed ! You sure know how to camp in style! /Louisa
Yes, there are times we get the “creature” comforts and we always enjoy Bush Cuisine!
Mind you, in about another 6 weeks I’ll be sleeping under the stars out on a glacier in my bivvy bag in the snow and ice! And loving it…
And how is Norway, and Dubai today? Now there is a contrast!
It looks like you had a great weekend! There’s nothing so fun as getting away for some camping with good friends . And do you people ever know how to eat while out in the bush! Love the “now” and “then” pictures of the boys 🙂
Yeah, you gotta love the boys & TomO, not much changes in many ways. TomO is on the right in the first photo with the Akubra Hat on. He was dubbed “the walking hat”. He is on the left with the beanie in the other photo. Stephen, on the right in the second photo is over six feet tall now at age 13…he was on the left in the first photo…
We have camped nearly every summer for 20 years with two other families. The oldest of the children are in their early twenties now, and I love it that they still want to come out with us. This past summer, my eldest, who was 15 at the time, did part of the Juan de Fuca trail with some of those adult children. No parents involved. It was a highlight of his summer.
That trail looks similar in description, and distance to the Thorsborne Trail on Hinchinbrook Island in North Queensland…and it is nice they want to still join you, says something about the friendship you have with them!
Thanks for the shout-out Baz! I’m over the moon that y’all liked the bull’s blood mushrooms. I have to say I’m pretty much drooling over both your camping cuisine and the camp site. What gorgeous country! Tell Janet those buns look amazing — just what I need right now with my morning coffee.
You have some very nice recipes to work with! And yes, we are lucky to have such wonderful and diverse landscapes in Australia. And Janet is a very good cook, whether she is Out and About with limited facilities or at home with all the mod-cons… And her scones are fantastic! Crikey, only the other I told her she had amazing buns… 😉
Hah! As I wrote that I thought, “Janet can take that whichever way she likes.”
Oh man, Landy, you’re killing me! That looks wonderful – not sure about vegamite though, never tried it…but I would love to be out there having a weekend under the stars with good friends and family!! Nice!
Under the stars is always a treat, we try to do it regularly….
How nice!! Looked like so much fun!
yeah, i’m sitting here drinkin my coffee – never corfee with an r, more like cough-ee – just so we’re clear, and i’m thinking i’d love me some of janet’s delicious looking dampers. yum. my low-fat muffin never looked so boring.
i just love your weekend under the stars. gorgeous! i would so join you guys, if there were a hotel nearby.
and don’t make me go all mad as a cut snake on you – that doesn’t sound pretty. how bout mad as wild horse? or, mad as chick without her chickens… okay, i’m obviously going to have to work on it and get to you.
cheers! it’s a great day for an adventure. (mine, will be following wild little boys around and bribing and wrestling them into submission) enjoy! 🙂
It always sounds like Cor-fee, makes me laugh! Not too many hotels close-by, but hey, we’d always work something out…And mad-as-a-cu snake, don’t work, it’s a term of endearment in this instance! We’ll need to get you an Aussie dictionary!! 🙂
ha!! l don’t think i want an aussie dictionary, i like figuring it out – or sort of figuring it out – through your blog… so fun. and then throwing the words around over here – people are beginning to think i’m even madder than a cut snake than i am.. ha! 😉
thanks again for taking me on your adventures :}