We arrived down at the den on Thursday 1st at 1.30pm. Tony, Emma, Conor and I (Kevin) started to plan the weekend. The plan, if you can call it a plan since we kinda just winged it, was to dig a pit, build a giant fire in it and cook way too much meat for us to eat. Tony picked a site for our fire pit, a spot beside the campfire circle, one meter wide by two meters long. Conor and myself started digging. We took two spades, a pitch fork and a pick-axe from the stores. I really liked the pick-axe it was way too much fun to use. The digging got tough in the middle we seemed to be digging in a rock pit, something we were not expecting. The weather was great for digging, a warm sun shone down on the dig site, there was hardly a cloud in the blue sky.
Well, you'd think with that kind of weather we'd be flying along, about half way to the three foot deep hole we needed, the rain started. Rain is a bit of an understatement, it was more like a tropical rain storm. We stopped, covered the hole in a tarp and got in Emma's car in order to make our way to Dunnes and Lidl to go shopping. We started shopping in Lidl and picked up most of what we wanted, then a quick stop in Dunnes and we were sorted. Tony got the two joints of meat we'd be cooking in the fire pit in Dunnes, one large joint of beef and one of ham.
By the time the we had finished shopping the sun had returned. Conor and I continued the dig, while Emma and Tony started a fire for Dinner in the campfire circle. Dinner was chicken curry, rice and swiss roll with custard. Cooking on the open fire was great craic, Conor admitted in his numerous years in scouting that he has never cooked on a fire!?! One lesson I learnt is that when you grease pots for the fire don't grease only three quarters of the pot, otherwise you clean the pot you'll end up with a nice burn line.
After a quick clean-up, we played cards, talked about our forthcoming trip to Wales, generally messed with Tony's camera and well just sat around the fire having fun. Then, finally, we went to bed.
Apparently I sleep like a log, and was only awoken by Tony shouting at me. I awoke to a wonderful smell, Emma cooking pancakes in the kitchen. Emma's pancakes with chocolate were just amazing. Kieran arrived to finish off the cabinets as we were leaving for our scavenger hunt.
Conor and mine first clue was
"Go to into town, and go to a street named after a 1950's american woman."
. What? Emma and Tony left Conor and I with ten euro and two maps and told good luck! Chaos ensued! Myself and Conor decided to get the 7 bus into town after a hint via text message from Tony. A 1950's women, so yeah we started naming 1950's american women and used the Dublin street map we had to see if the street existed. DAME STREET! Was the answer! We meet up with Tony and Emma on Dame street outside of central bank. To receive clue number two. That clue lead us to a sweet shop where we got clue number three.
"Go to uncle Arthur's Gate ... 1759 ... and take a photo as proof.". After a rough start we really were getting the hang of it. James' gate! The Guinness gate on James' Street. Conor and I started out towards the Guinness store house on foot. We weren't too sure where we were going so it so happened that we did a loop around the Guinness distribution center and the store house taking a pictures of any of the gates that looked even remotely important. So we have multiple photos of Conor at lots of different gates with Guinness on them. We found the right one eventually.
We texted Tony that we found the gate, we got text back the question
"What part of the gate changes every year". We phoned tony and I said the "the date", Tony heard "the gate"! Tony understood what we said eventually, only after repeating "the date" about fifty times on the phone.
Our next clue took us on the National Museum of Ireland, Jervis Street Shopping center, the Scout shop and finally into Cineworld Cinema on Parnell Street. We saw Kick Ass. It was amazing! Thumbs up all around.
We returned, cooked dinner over the fire, played some more cards and went to bed.
Tony and Emma awoke at 6am the next morning to light the fire pit, Conor and I got up at 7am and started to make pancakes. We built the fire in the pit for about 3 hours using the wood we've been collecting for months and charcoal. We wrapped the two joints of meat in tin foil, and then in chicken wire. Threw them into the foot deep of burning hot embers in the fire pit and covered the pit over with soil. Now we waited. While waiting we tested out the range of Hugh's new walkie talkies and Emma prepared some apple crumble and potatoes in the dutch ovens. We then waited some more, and nine hours later we unburied the pit to retrieve the meat.
The McLains, our parents, David and Petra arrived down to eat some food with us. It was a blast, clean plates all round! If you want to see some more photos from the weekend there is a photo album of the weekend.