Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Friday, 4 June 2010

Aghatirourke RSPB Reserve 4th June 2010

Well the cycle ride from Portadown to Aghatirourke wasn't too bad but, to be honest, I wasn't up too early this morning. The short rain showers around 6.00am were no excuse but I eventually got up at 10.30am. I deserved the rest and enjoyed reading Douglas adams' Life, the Universe and everything. Mind you I kept waking and heard a cuckoo, a whitethroat and a willow warbler from the snug confines of my sleeping bag.

Packed up the tent after breakfast and hid all panniers etc under a hedge before making my way to the top of the plateau. Not many birds around on the way up and even fewer at the top.

Met 2 peat diggers, John and William, who were busy stacking cyclinders of peat in small wigwam-shaped piles for them to dry out, ready for using as fuel.

Once down to collect my belongings and over lunch a very close male hen harrier came floating overhead. Superb bird and one of my favourites, it landed some way up the limestone slope beside a large hawthorn bush.

Now at Enniskillen, in the library. The Cathedral was closed and I now await a phone call from the BBC. Radio Ulster want to interview me tonight and we need to organise a rendezvous point.


On the way to here yesterday visited both the Catholic and the Anglican Cathedrals in Armagh.

In Roslea, after scooting through a small bit of the Republic of Ireland, met a family whose daughter wore the best shirt I'd seen during my time in Northern ireland - an Aston Villa shirt. Beautiful! [Thanks Shayna! And thanks to you as well Vincent. Great handshake.]

After quite possibly the worst chips and gravy I've ever eaten, I went through kinawley and saw that there was a large number of children enjoying themselves playing Gaelic football. Stopped and watched and met Brenda and Ender, both of which were the coaching experts for the local team [!?]. It was fabulous to see the children's enthusiasm and skill in playing this game that's a bit like Aussie rules football. Kick the ball, hit it, throw it and score points or a goal.

Right time to check out where next and hopefully have a good swim in the local pool.

Oh to be in Gwent! Mind you I don't need it. I saw the first one up on Midhope Moor, South Yorkshire, when my ex-wife jane walked with me over the moor to see the mamora's despite being rather pregnant at the time.

All the very best everyone,


1 comment:

  1. glad to hear you arived in enniskillen safely. you are not having much luck with the chips and gravy in n.ireland. try the chicken gravy with the chips its called a super chip its delicious. hope interview goes well. take care and God bless.