Archive for July 10th, 2009

How to dissappear completely – part 2

I sleep fitfully in tents. Time passes. I’m not sure I really sleep. Otherwise it’s a wonderful experience.

Didn’t get up till after 9 and fought the chickens off to get at the food to make the breakfast. By time we had the bacon and eggs and potato bread down us and camp cleared away it was after 11.

Thankfully the wind had died a bit and we made it across the open bay of the Lough on calm water with nothing but the flies for company.


The silence is overpowering. You have most of Northern Ireland all round you (we never decided if it was 4 or 5 counties) and you’re here in this tiny wee boat in the middle of it all. Good times.

Lunch was at Ardboe below an old ruined church. Pot noodles aren’t as good as I remember them.

In the afternoon the wind picked up and thankfully more in our backs. Unfortunately this drew up a bit of a swell which kept trying to send us more west than north west.

The waves have a tendency to catch your tail end and spin you whichever way they want you. It is possible to surf them but it takes a lot of effort to keep yourself in the right direction.

In the end it was quite hard work but we made pretty impressive speed across the lough with only eel boats and sand dredgers for company.

Ended up on Ballyronan marina at 5 pm and got a 99 from the bored teenager at the ice cream stall.


I’d tried to book a space in the camp-site about 5 days ago but was told that it was fully booked.

When we arrived there were 2 caravans on the site with at least 10 empty bays. Maybe people had cancelled. We chanced our arm with the lady in the office and gave her our sob story about canoeing for 10 days solid and how we had to eat the ships dog and she felt sorry for us and let us squeeze on the site.

We were ever so grateful.

It’s now 10 pm and there are now 3 caravans and 9 empty bays. Now either people here turn up really late to their caravan site or someone is telling little fibs.

But oh the joys of a shower. Only two days without washing and it was still so good to stand under the shower and feel it burn on the sun burn on your face. A shower is one of life’s great pleasures. So’s a ‘shar’ – which is the same thing but with a northern Irish accent.

For some reason the shower curtain was covered in images of little yellow ducks with the slogan ‘bobbing along’. Seemed a tad out of place in a council public toilet.

The main reason we choose Ballyronan marina is that it has a great Chinese restaurant. Every marina should have one.

We asked for a table for tea near a plug socket so we could charge the phones. Just like Ray Mears does.

Starters and main course and some Tsing Tao later we’re having a wee dander round the marina wondering what the earliest acceptable time to go to bed is.

About now I reckon.


July 2009