Planning a Big Lapa August 2011
  After a good few campouts we were getting quite used to living on a slight incline. The grassland area and start of the forest are all on sloping ground and we were continually aware of setting up the tent, chairs and tables on the sloping ground. We tried setting up the bed in the tent in all different directions but it always sloped in some direction with it's related sleeping complications. And anything you put on any camp table would inevitably roll off at some time and have to be searched for in the grass or have the sand cleaned off of it. So it was time to get something going to level out a patch of ground and it was to be a giant round lapa next to our campsite tree. It would include storage room with serving hatch and some ablution facilities. We measured and marked and stood back to view our planned lapa area. The ground slope was deceptive - we calculated that over the 20 meter length we would have to cut the top of the lapa into the ground just under a meter and raise the bottom side by the same amount. A lot of digging and building of retaining walls would be involved in this project. We sat back and decided to give the whole project a bit more thought.

The big round lapa area marked out

  Clearing Forest for the New Road
Breaking into the forest from the grassland side
- already a huge pile of branches and only a few meters in

  We also made a concerted affort on breaking onto the forest for our new road working from both sides. Progress was a little slow but every branch removed got us closer to completion.

  And the inevitable. On more than one occasion during the month I dashed out to the farm either taking time off work during the day or in the late afternoon/evenings to help farmers from the surrounding farms put out veldfires. Luckily we managed to put out all fires before they got anywhere near to our farm. Although we had cut most of the grass on the farm borders, we still had a lot to cut in the forest clearings and the top grassland. We often worked tirelessly well into the nights beating out flames on the rocky slopes where the vehicles with their water tanks were unable to get to.