Welcome to the Full Monte blog version ….. <enter a large number> – but first a quick recap of how we got where we are today.
This blog has been through many different manifestations and formats, it often stalled for months on end, and, in September 2023, we thought we had lost it completely. Seventeen years of blogging lost to cyberspace. Fortunately, we were able to find a collection of old backups. With the help of a WordPress genius, we have been able to recover much of it, but it still needs some work. There are over 350 blog posts and almost 3000 photos that have been automatically recovered from backups that we need to check. For now, access to them is restricted – sorry. Past guests, volunteers, friends and family – if you don’t mind the odd broken link or image and you want a login to what we have – get in touch.
We’ll also be using this web site to market Camp Full Monte to potential buyers – Yep, Camp Full Monte is up for sale! Just click home for more about that.
News from the recent past – Covid 19 and other life changing events.
In 2019, inspired by our guests and volunteers, we decided it was time for us to do some serious travelling. The plan was to mothball the campsite and get on the road. These plans were then scuppered by a global pandemic, the passing of my (Steve) Father, me being diagnosed with prostate cancer, and then the passing of Denise’s Father.
I’m happy to report that much of that is behind us, although the loss of loved ones is never far from your mind. My diagnosis called for a radical prostatectomy which was a success, and so far I’m cancer free. If nothing else, cancer is a stark reminder of the fragility of life and the need to focus on some bucket list items while you can. Our plan is to head to the southern hemisphere for winter. We’ll use this blog to keep a diary of our travelling adventures. Another reason to watch this space.
Finally, we’re in the process of applying for the relevant licences that will enable us to open Camp Full Monte from the beginning of May to the end September next year while we wait for an interested buyer. If you want to visit, see our main website, full-monte.com, for details of what’s on offer.
In the meantime, what follows on this page is the original archive “About” page.
A blog about our Full Monte life – The background
In 2006, we started to blog about the trials & tribulations of buying, building and owning Camp Full Monte, an off-grid, clothing optional campsite and eco project in Montenegro. It is now an archive of the story of:
- The challenges we faced living as expats in Montenegro.
- The friends and volunteers that helped us to evolve our eco project.
- The eco-friendly methods & products we were pioneering – we were far from experts but wanted to share all we were learning.
- Our attempts to garden organically – sharing the joys and woes of growing green.
- The meals we created from our organic produce and the recipes we learned and shared.
- Nature in all her forms – the beautiful (and sometimes ugly!) manifestations of Mother Nature that surrounded and inspired us.
- The random things that made us happy and sad – books we read, situations & events we experienced.
Introducing the Steve & Den show
We are Steve and Denise and we emigrated from the UK to Montenegro in May 2006. The decision to change our lifestyle was driven by the value we place on happiness. We traded property, working long hours for someone else and regular incomes, for cash in the bank and time and space together. This gave us the freedom to make different choices.
We are practical people – we have limited talents and funds – so we had to choose to do something that played to our strengths and gave us enough money to live on. Our combined talents (cooking, gardening, entertaining) led us to aim for opening a resort of our own.
We had enjoyed naturist holidays for over a decade so we wanted to provide a space where folk could get their kit off in the sun if they felt like it. We were inspired by a resort we visited in Portugal in 2005 where nudity was acceptable but not mandatory. We decided we would also adopt a clothing optional policy. The concept is simple, you can choose to wear as much or as little as you like 24×7. All we ask is that you don’t make other guests feel uncomfortable if their choice is different to yours.
Resort to Camping
It took a year and a lot of adventures before we found the right piece of land and a further 6 months before we could buy all we needed to get started. Our original plan to build a resort of wooden cabins was scuppered by the news that one day there may be a major highway on or near our plots. As many predicted, this never materialised and the road was re-routed but at the time, low impact, low cost camping seemed the way to go.
We also discovered that trying to connect our beautiful piece of land to mains services was going to be difficult and expensive. We weren’t eco warriors when we set out on this journey but pragmatism led us to research alternative approaches. Today, access to mains power is available but we’re converts to off-grid living and the environmentally friendly approaches we pioneered, so it was with a wry smile that I refused the offer of a connection (for a modest fee) from the local power company.