The Joys of Caravaning

I took a nice weekend and "penciled myself in" to the diaries of my mates A and K who had purchased a caravan during the winter. I have been looking forward to this weekend ever since. Many Friday's I get reports from A that the caravan is being prepped for a weekend of merry making. It was to much fun to be missed and I had to get on board (not a great space coaster, but something similar - better food). Now, I know many of my mates and much of the Top Gear viewing public find caravans evil, anathemas to car worshiping serious drivers. Caravan holiday makers drive slow, sleep in their ugly boxes, and "how do you bathe?" LOL Rest assured, no caravans were set on fire or blown up for amusement. Instead, it served as a nice homestead to many days of mucking about Portrush, Balleymoney, Coleraine, and the North Coast.

In The Beginning

Sulis Minerva, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Aphrodite, Muhammed, and and Freyja were sitting around smoking stoggies and drinking whiskey. At stupid o'clock in the morning Kris turns to Jesus and declares this is the best whiskey he's ever had! Suli chimes in, "For sure!, Jesus, where ever did you come by such fine elixer?"

Jes gets a gleam in his eye, "Just something I cooked up. I've been knocking about with an idea."

"Wot's wot?" Freyja quzzically asks.

"Yeah," says DiDi, "Wot's the buzz?"

"Tell us wot's happening!" Bud prods.

"I think we should build a paradise that is as smooth and warm as this brew! A place so gobsmackingly beautiful people will sing about it til the end of time!" Jes swoons and nearly falls out of his barcalounger.

"And upon this land we shall place the sacred cow!" screams Kris, holding up his glass.

"And populate it with people brash, outrageous, and fearless!" DiDi chimes in.

Ahmed adds, "We must give them stunning views of green and blue. For their noses the smell of fertile earth. The taste of lamb and potatoes in stew, the feel of the soft breeze as it kisses their cheeks."

"Ahhh, Mohammed my friend, you are a poet, a romantic!" giggles Minnie.

"We shall give them this whiskey, the elixer of us godz! We shall make their tongues wag and their blood boil!"

"Kris, my friend, are you sure? Can one race of human kind handle such magnificence?" asks Jes.

The other godz chimed in oh yes, yes, it will be wonderful, let them have it all, it shall be as heaven on earth, and on and on it went. Ahmed put his mix tape into the CD player and for seven long days and nights the godz busied themselves, hammering this, and chiseling that, planting, sowing, reaping, creating to the strains of "Smoke on the Water", "Whipping Post", "Big Love", "A Touch of Evil", "Gold Dust Woman", "I Speed at Night", "Talk of the Town", "I'm Burning for You". . . On and on they worked creating a masterpiece for the senses. Day and night they toiled and drank and toiled some more, played some cards, and drank. On the morning of the eighth day it dawns on them that they should have created the union first and the mandatory union break second. They vowed that from hense forward the people of the land shall work no more than 35 to 40 hours a week. Anything more is just crazy talk! And thus, the ICTU was formed.

"And wot do we call this wondrous creation?" Freyja tiredly asks as she takes a long draw from her stoggie.

"Eire!" says Bud proudly.

"EIRE!!!!" they all exclaim. And so it was written. And so it was done.

2008 July 25

Ok - this bus trip wasn't as traumatic as going to Paris. I had a seat to myself until Birmingham. By the time we hit the second rest stop, my seat mate begged out and sat behind me with the dude-man (who, yes, was the epitome of dude-ness). Luckily he was still sitting with me when basic maths broke down in Manchester and they tried to fit more people on the coach than there were seats for. A "nice" family that I can only describe as the Gallaghers (of Shameless) fame with two extra babies boarded and much crying, walking up and down the eisles, swapping infants, and general loudness ensued. But at L16 ($34) you get what you pay for. The coach (National Express) wove it's way up thru the midlands and into Scotland (Dumfries and Galloway - ok, there is a massively cool brick bridge that I must come back and take pictures of) to dump us out at Strenraer ferry terminal. Now that is a water crossing vessel! POSH!!!! It's like a small cruise ship: restaurant, coffee bar, arcade, play area for kids, movie/tv room, comfy seats and a quiet area where I could get some kip. The trip to the ferry took from 1730 hours to 0400. The ferry left at 0430ish with arrival in Belfast close to 0730. My pimped out ride was waiting for me!

Today's exploring included stops at a Dunluce Castle, a trip thru Coleraine and Portrush, and a 2km walk that had me crossing a rope bridge 300m above the Atlantic on 2x4s strung together with rope. Yes, I think Carrick a Rede should play prominently in the next zombie movies. Lets see how fast someone can scale the steps leading to the bridge and traverse it with legions on undead on their tail! I felt like i was being chased by zombies trying to cross it. You betcha sweet bippy it was windy. My stomach was wibbly wobbly and I kept fighting the vision of my toppling head over heels off the bridge crashing into the water below. Obviously I made it, not once but twice - as the only way to get back was to cross the bridge again. Needless to say, the views of the Atlantic are stunning. I have yet to visit a vista on the Antrim Coast that isn't just gobsmackingly beautiful. The air is crisp and clean (and cow) smelling. I honestly don't know about Slartibartfast and his award winning fjords; but the Antrim Coast definitely got a few statuettes that year. The north country is such a vibrant mixture of blues and greens and water and grass, white sands, rocky cliffs, rolling hills, and cow and sheep lined pastures and fields.

The next three days was spent eating, site seeing, beach shenanigans, ice cream lolly's (think Rita's on a stick), watching movies on the DVD player when the sun went down, drinking, card playing, driving thru the country side, sleeping in the ASDA parking lot, more ice cream lolly's, eating, 2p slot machines, eating, drinking, and mondo hugs from my favourite little bolshie lass! (I hope she never changes! Refreshing to see that kind of spirit in a child! Her parents do good work.) If you ever want a sure fire great holiday destination - the North Coast is your place!


-mari- said…
Beautiful Pictures!

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