This is my guide to Ireland, everything from Irish tourist attractions and sights, Irish history , Irish food and recipes, folklore and mythology to the people and culture along with a few Irish superstitions and traditions. Your guide to Ireland by an Irish woman living and raising a family in Ireland

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Reminiscences of Ireland - Part 3

Belcarra - Beginning - By Bob Donkins

On arrival at Belcarra we were shown the caravan that was to be our home for the next week. When we had settled in we were given a quick induction course on looking after the horse, caravan and the rules of the road. We were supplied the maps and our itinerary. We cooked our first meal in the caravan before an evening stroll in the village and off to bed.
The next day after a bit of amusement watching people chasing the horses round the field we were introduced to our travelling companion for the week - Blackie.  After the lessons on horse grooming and harnessing Blackie to the caravan it was decided that we should leave first,  the other vans following at 10 minute intervals. 
Each day we travelled about 10 miles which took about 3 hours so we arrived at Ballintober shortly early in the afternoon.  Having attended to Blackie and set him free in his paddock,  we borrowed the bikes that were available and cycled to  local shop to but fresh milk and eggs.  By the time we arrived back at the campsite all the other caravans had arrived.  We relinquished the bike to another family and set off to explore the the beautifull Ballintubber Abbey. 
We went back to the campsite for a shower then went to the local pub and restaurant.  We were so tired after all the excercise and fresh air we were in bed and asleep shortly before 10 pm.
It was with some trepidation following the previous day's antics that a I went with one of the other travellers to round up the horses.  To my amazement Blackie came running up to me and I was able to put on the leading rein with no problem.  As I lead Blackie back to the caravan the other horses follwed meekly behind him.  I was unanimously voted to be be the horse catcher for the rest of the trip.
We were soon ready to set off on our next leg to Castlecarra.
One of the rules we were given was that we should walk as much as possible so that we did not tire the horses too much so our feet were tired when we arrived at the campsite. 
After looking after Blackie we were content just to sit and watch the youngsters play ball.  We ate our evening meal in the fresh air and enjoyed the views of Lough Carra and chatted and watched the sunset.
The next day it was a day off for the horses so we went for a walk to the Lough and to see the castle. We just enjoyed the scenery and watched the butterflies and a well camouflaged frog.
Having eaten our picnic lunch we walked on to the ruins of Moore Hall and then headed back via Burriscara.

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