Sunday, March 27, 2011

Say "Nay!" to a Lap of Lough Neagh


The idea was simple – dander round Lough Neagh.   

We’d been doing no running, so rather than set off at a gallop and run out of gas after ten miles, we reckoned that if we took our time and just strolled it, we’d be grand and were in for a long but nice day out if the weather held.  How wrong we were!

Crossing the viaduct in Randalstown, burning with enthusiasm for the day ahead
We left Antrim at 6:15am on Saturday morning heading anti-clockwise towards Randalstown.  The weather was cool and clear; perfect, and so it stayed for the day.  By the time we had reached Randalstown, the blisters had appeared in earnest.  A quick phone-call and shoe-change in Toome eased things for a few miles, then the blisters got worse, they all burst, and the real misery began. 

The only things of any interest on the entire trip were:
  • A squashed hedgehog just south of Ballyronan
  • A quick hello to Jim Clements, the farmer who had kindly welded a pedal on for us to allow us to continue our last trip round the lough
  • A frightening canoe-ride across the Bann at Bannfoot in the most unstable boat we’ve ever been in – how we stayed out of the water, I’ll never know
Aside from that, it was all mind-crushingly dull.  Our thanks to Seth and Dale for sorting the canoe, saving us from having to walk into Portadown for a bridge.

We made it as far as Friar Tucks chip shop in Lurgan (the guts of 50 miles), and even before we sat down we knew the dream was over.  We were both in considerable anguish, but my own flagging pace ultimately ended our day.  Our thanks to Rory Culbert for his support at Friar Tucks.

We had originally planned to finish back in Antrim at about 2am, but quick calculations, based on the speed we were going at approaching Lurgan due to our pulverised joints, suggested that we would still be walking closer to 2pm!  So it was sausage suppers and Coke for two, and we called the cavalry to get us home.

This was unquestionably the most boring and relentlessly painful thing we have ever attempted, just pure monotony and nothing to think about except tarmac, blisters and grinding bone.  An awful day out.  Never again...

Tango tastes Tayto twixt the Toombridge tulips

We already knew from experience that this was a boring enough cycle, so why the devil didn't we realise it would be a simply mind-numbing walk?!


Hello?  Hello?  Davy's so tired, he doesn't yet realise it's actually his mobile ringing.

All aboard the Skylark! Crossing the Bann, close to the end of our trip.  It felt more like crossing the River Styx

1 comment:

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