A lazy day; The perfect beach bonfire; An impromptu party

Today was a day to rest and recover from the day before. We woke up late, very cold and very damp, and feeling very old. Pitching the tent beside the stream was not a good idea. Sheryl is now congested all the time, losing her voice, and coughing up her lungs for an hour after we wake up. I’m getting very concerned that she’s getting a sinus infection. I know how bad they are, having had one last winter myself, and I know that they can ruin her health for two or three months sometimes. Camping was probably not a very good idea in and of itself.

Today was another warm sunny day, so, in no hurry at all, we eventually got up and dressed and moved the tent away from the stream and into the more populated part of the campground. Sheryl had bargained for a couple of shower tokens the day before, so we cleaned up and then headed back into the village for tea and groceries. I picked up a couple of small notebooks - one to record photo captions and one for expenses, which was one bit of equipment I’d overlooked.

We’d decided to have a fire on the beach that night, and had picked up a fake fire log at the shop, so I built a ring of stones and gathered some deadwood to burn from the huge pile of uprooted trees on the beach, and cardboard and plastic to sit on, and booze, cookies, &tc - all the ingredients for a good fire. And it was a good fire, too - the wood burned very well and very quickly, we were constantly scavenging for more. Eventually I just threw the ends of three whole trees onto the fire and just kept moving them in as they burned.

There was another man on the beach having a fire with his kids, and Sheryl got to chatting with him. He was very friendly and invited us to his fire. We were loath to give up our flaming trees, but decided in favour of sociability. David was a super guy - a garbageman and undertaker’s assistant, and a modern-day gentleman who had pulled his daughter and niece out of school to go camping. We had a good long conversation about everything, sitting around his fire of peat bricks (which, he taught me, any good Irishman calls turf and not peat). He kept giving us beer, and was well into his second bottle of wine himself, and so the conversation was lively and it was very late by the time we got to bed.


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Chris Liberty - Dispatches from a Gentleman Adventurer
Being the internal dialog of a vagabond who chased his own tail across five continents for 4 years and 2 days from May 2008 to May 2012, in search of something that never really became clear.
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