August 25, 2011
by Linda Jackson
Thursday 25th August
Today began as a beautiful bright sun soaked day as I set off to explore the nine Glens of Antrim. I first stopped off at the small village of Cunhendun. I walked around for about an hour and a half exploring and chatting to some locals and tourists.
A number of kids playing on their bikes passed me as I took some photos, the oldest of which must have been about 9 and as she cycled pass shouted out ‘hello’ to which I replied ‘hi ya’. As I rounded the corner they had disappeared behind, the girl who had greeted me stood in a driveway.
‘Are you on your holidays?’ she asked in her Antrim accent. ‘I am indeed‘ I replied.
‘Are you one of them there tourists?’ was her next question. ‘I suppose I am‘ I answered with a smile.
It was my turn to ask a question ‘Do you live here?‘ ‘Yeah, just down the road a bit, next to the big white house. Where are you from?’ she asked. ‘I’m from Cork, which is right at the bottom of Ireland’.
‘Does the sun always shine here like this?’ I enquired. ‘Only on days when everyone is happy’ she replied. She asked my name and I asked hers, Molly. Then the other 5 little girls that stood close by piped up and each in turn told me their name. We spoke for a few more minutes about the lovely sunshine before they returned to playing their games.
As I headed back to the car I passed two women on a bridge who were frantically talking in Italian and laughing loudly. I soon realised what all the excitement was about when I practically walked into something I wasn’t expecting and exclaimed out loud ‘Oh, bloody hell!’ This set the Italians into another fit of laughter. Once they had regained their composure one of them asked ‘Is it goat?’ And indeed it was.
‘Is he on his holidays?’ I asked. This set them off again. They explained that their friend had returned to their car to get some carrots and did I think the goat would eat them. I told them I was pretty sure goats would eat anything if they were hungry enough. And he did.
It was their first time visiting Ireland and we chatted for awhile exchanging stories of our adventrues around this beautiful island. Of course I told them about Puck Fair, which had them roaring with laughter again. ‘And how do the judges decided which goat will be King of the Fair? Is it der eyes or coat? Or how you decide dis?‘ I explained that the goat catcher just went out and caught one on a mountain and it wasn’t like a beauty contest. More laughter. These Italians truly were giddy goats! Molly was right about the sunshine…
But, unfortunately the clouds had other ideas and as I arrived at Glenariff Forest Park, they opened and remained open for the rest of the day. You have to pay for parking at the forest which was a bit pricey at £4.40 but I’d come all this way and was determined to do the Waterfall Walk which was lovely, even if it was done in the torrential rain…