Camping at Iyakei valley

Aug 11, 2010

So...we were back camping. Camping for the last time before the Ramadhan starts. We initially thought we couldn't make it to this camp when my son contracted chicken pox ten days ago. But Alhamdulillah, his symptoms were quite light and his recovery was speedy. He recovered in one week time! Just in time for the beach outing and this camp.

So, where is this Iyakei? Iyakei is situated in the western part of Tokushima and nearly in the center of Shikoku. The Iya area is one of the three large "hidden mountain regions" in Japan, forming a part of Mt. Tsurugi Quasi-National Park. The region is surrounded by mountains in the Shikoku Mountain district, with a deep valley formed among the mountains cut through by the limpid Iya-gawa River, a tributary of the Yoshino-gawa River. So to cut short the story, we will be camping in the middle of the mountains.

The weather was forecast to be bright and sunny. However when we reached the campsite, it was a little cloudy and we could see dark clouds hovering just above our campsite. Ahh...mountain weather is unpredictable. There is a chance we'll be camping in the rain. But then again, if we want to enjoy nature...these are part and parcel we will have to accept. We are all ready for this!

So as what we had expected, it started to rain heavily. My hubby was in the middle of setting up the tent when it started to rain. Looking at the bright side, at least the inner part of the tent was not wet and we did not have to sleep in wet bed....hahaha. About an hour later, the dark cloud above us decided to move further north and the weather was sunny again! Yay!

After securing our tent, we decided to walk down the hill for a swim in the clean Iya river. The water was clear and cold...which gave the nice cooling effect just fit for this hot summer. The big and small stones provided us some mild reflexology effect which was quite soothing. Ah...I just enjoy this feeling.

We walked back to our campsite after a good two-hour swim. It's time for some cooking. We decided to cook something simple this time. The main dish was salmon pie with some grilled lamb chop and some grilled vegetables as side dishes. I used the dutch oven for the pie but was unsure how it would turn out as this was my first time baking pie outdoor.

While waiting for the salmon pie to bake, we managed to grill the lamb ribs and veges. The dinner was pretty much ready by the time the grilling completed.

How did the pie turn out? It was definitely a success! Just look at the crispy crust and the juicy salmon with creamy mushroom to complement it. It was delicious!

We finished our dinner before the sunset. We cleaned the place thoroughly making sure there was no trace of food around us as we didn't want to lure any unexpected animals to our tent site. The friendly warden ensure us no big bears appear here. He said he's seen wild boars, monkeys, big deers and Japanese serow, which is a protected species. Still, we never know.

Enjoying the pitch black night, watching the exceptionally bright stars, listening to the flowing river and endless cicada sound. It was a peaceful feeling. I didn't remember what time I slept but I slept soundly while listening to the music supplied by nature in that cool and chilly night.

The next day, we were awaken by soft morning glow with birds chirping away. It was another fine day.

Greetings from Optimus prime.

The camp warden

After a simple breakfast, we packed our things and headed to the river again for another swim.

A great escapade, free from daily, boring, routine work! Wooohoooooo.....*scream*
I am recharged and refreshed!
I am now all ready for more bashing, more stress and endless experiments! Bring it on!

Last but not least, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my Muslim friends happy fasting and may this year's Ramadhan be of better quality than the past's. Amin~


Anonymous said...

This looks so cool!!! When I was your son's age, I was always the only one in the class who couldn't go for the class camping trip 'coz Mother is kinda OCD about food and allergy (yup, I was like allergic to a million things) and germs (yup! yup!) and me getting hurt/lost/up to no good etc etc.

My first camping trip which was to Cornwell was when I was a ripe age of 16. And even that, my Mother dragged my dad along and insisted on staying at the caravan park nearest to our camping site. *ish ish ish*

Nana said...

Hi Andrea! Thank you for dropping by.
You know what, my mom was an OCD too. haha...I never had any camping experience until I went to University. But then again, after having my own child, I sort of understood why she did that. It was because she loved me and didn't want me to get hurt/lost/whatever she thought I would succumb to.
My hubby is quite adventurous. He encouraged me to start camping in Japan as it's relatively safe. But if you ask me whether I would let my son go camping with his class in Malaysia...erkk, I might have a second thought. Haha...oh no, I might have inherited the OCD gene from my mom...;)

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