It was my Husbands birthday on Monday, he’s now only 1 year away from the big 30! We thought it would be nice to go for a little camping trip, just to get away for a day or two.
Camping in the Mountains
On Sunday morning, bright and early, we packed up our things and headed for the mountains.
We’ve never been camping as a family before, so we were all really excited. I’ve camped a few times in the lake district when I was younger, and then again at festivals as a teenager, and I’ve always loved the experience.
I just love the idea that you can just pack up some bits and go wherever you want, the freedom is great. We don’t really have any fancy equipment, but you don’t really need that. We have a tent, sleeping bags and a wee camping stove, what more do you really need?
Saying that, it did look like we were packed up for a weeks holidays, I like to be prepared for everything so I’d packed multiple changes of clothes, toys, make up, the lot. We probably could have done with travelling a bit lighter, but whatever.
We took a trip up to Spelga Dam, which is nestled in the Mourne Mountains in County Down. It’s a beautiful spot.
We had a bit of a trek from the car to the area we’d chosen to pitch our tent, so it took us a while to get our stuff backwards and forwards to set up. It was worth it though, because we were pitched in the perfect setting.
The weather was fabulous, and we spent most of the morning just chilling in the tent, or out enjoying the sunshine. We really thought we’d hit it lucky, BBC weather had been showing rain, but there seemed to be no sign of any bad weather at all.
Our luck didn’t last long though. It started to turn a bit grey as the afternoon progressed, and then it started to rain. My hubby was fishing at the water edge, so I ushered the kids in to the tent and closed it up to keep us dry. It only looked like a shower, and we were hopeful it would pass quickly.
Not even 5 minutes later the whole sky was black, and than we heard the loud crash of thunder accompanied by a bright lightning flash. The thunder was the loudest I’ve ever heard, it actually sounded like a bomb, and it was so close to us. I’ve never seen Caitlin look so terrified, and she promptly hid in her sleeping bag. I have to say, I was probably just as scared as she was.
The storm lasted about 45 minutes, and some of the Lightning strikes were dangerously close to us, I think it’s probably one of the scariest moments of my life. We had no option but to ride it out, because we had no where else to seek refuge. I was so relived when it was all over!
I always loved the idea of a camp fire for camping, but had concerns about damaging the area. We decided to take our fire pit with us so we could enjoy a fire without causing any damage. As sun began to set, we lit our fire and got the marshmallows out ready for toasting. Caitlin was furious that we had forgotten biscuits, so we couldn’t make her smores.
There is something so magical about a campfire. I could have sat around it all night, but it was getting late so we put it out and headed to the tent for some rest.
I didn’t get much sleep at all, I was worried we were all going to be electrocuted in the night by a bolt of lightning, and so spent most of the night on edge.
The next morning we woke up quite early, had our breakfast and then decided to move our things a little closer to the car park while the weather was nice. It was a bit of a trek again, but I’m glad we did it early so we could spend the rest of the day relaxing before we got picked up. Unfortunately we had a bit of a mishap as we were taking the tent down to move it, and it got broke. It still wroks, kinda, it’s just a bit out of shape and not as sturdy as it was.
We spent the rest of the day exploring the area, playing frisbee and chilling out. It was a nice relaxing day, and for the most part we got lovely weather too. Caitlin was most impressed with the sheep that we found hiding under a tree while we were exploring.
There was one incident when Neil was walking through the tall grass, when he suddently started to cry and scream. As I walked towards him he began to clutch his hand and I saw blood. I panicked, wondering what he had done. He was crying like his hand had been severed! On close inspection I found a small thorn in his thumb, and pulled it out as quick as i could. The poor wee man was in such a state. His pain receptors are a bit messed up, and to him that small thorn was a big injury. I think he screamed for 15 minutes, and it genuinely really hurt him. (He later told me he was never going camping again because of it!)
We came home at about 6 that evening, just as my hubby had started catching some fish, which he wasn’t too impressed about. I was sad to leave, but equally excited to get home and get in to my nice cosy bed. I’d forgot how uncomfortable it was to sleep on the ground, I think next time we go I’d like an air bed or something!
All in all we had a great little break, despite the storm. I hope we can get out camping again at some point over the summer.