Co. Fermanagh, 15–17 February 2013
Author: Barry Monaghan
Present: James Armstrong, Conor “Barney” McAdams, Sarah McFetridge, Catherine “Caggie” McGrade, Barry Monaghan, Conor “Nuts” O’Neill, Conor “Rocky” Winchcombe, and lots more.
All good things happen in threes. Right?
With the three committee members of QUB orchestrating things from three different places, myself at home in Dungannon, Barney at the QUBSU and Caggie somewhere in Belfast en-route to the bus depot, the weekend was about to unfurl. Of course it wouldn’t be a QUB trip unless there were transport issues and this trip was no different, in summary I had the gear in the purple dinosaur back in Dungannon, Barney was carrying 3 passengers in his tiny little starlet and the Fermanitee carrying the Asian half of the party, meanwhile Caggie organised a further 5 people on the bus to Enniskillen. The ensuing journey went rather smooth with me doing shopping in Enniskillen and meeting Barney and the bus folk in Spoons and making our way to the Hoo.
It was here we would stay and things would definitely get interesting….
We arrived to find a crowd of drunken southerners pretty much naked and making our Asian members feel slightly intimidated I imagine. As the night progressed and more alcohol was consumed clothes became more scarce (particularly McFaffin and Emi’s), Rocky also done the unthinkable after downing his 2l of Scrumpy. I will spare the details…
So with 25 people from 3 different clubs (lets not get into the nationalities of them all, there were many) things were cosy in the Hoo and the Purple Dinosaur too with 4 others sharing with me and some choosing to sleep in cars. When the morning came the woes of cooking breakfast were soon realised and with only 2 gas rings, 2 frying pans, some 20 odd meat lovers and 2 vegans the tension in the kitchen was palpable. The rest of the morning wasn’t too different to other caving trips, much faffing was done with Barney taking a group to use facilities in Bloodstones and the remaining cavers slowly gathered gear and prepared for the day ahead. On Barney’s return the rest of the group got organised and a callout was planned, ’twas soon realised we had too many heads and not enough wheels so plans of caving were changed (yes, more faffing). Meanwhile the doctor had arrived and explained he had motoring issues, the Yaris was a sick pup dribbling oil from its tiny heart. Myself, Rocky, Caggie, Nuts and Sarah decided to make tracks and abandon Barney with the mess, instead following a trail of oil to Bloodstones where we found the doctor watching the life drain from the Yaris. Finally the time came for caving…. we descended upon Boho caves in our full regalia only to be met by a group of school children coming out with rain coats and hard hats, feeling a little overdressed we continued and next moved on to an even easier Coolarkan (this is getting embarrassing now…). Our final cavern of choice was to be Frank Maguires yet again we found the doctor in poor form, this time crying into his pint, after having a few we returned to find the Hoo filled with the smell of cooking horses (and a hint of excrement). Dinner was had and a car rescued from the mud before returning to Maguires for another few rounds. More troops arrived and a jolly night was had.
The morning came and after a hearty breakfast (for some) things got underway, just not for long. The Dubs headed off and soon after there was word of a second dead car, this time a Starlet on the track from the Hoo, of course some faffing ensued but eventually the car was towed to Blacklion where it decided to come back to life again. All plans for going underground disintegrated and some set off for a walk (in protest I imagine), instead we made swiftly toward the bus depot in Enniskillen and of course found time for a feed in Spoons before separating with our colleagues. Myself and two others decided to spend another night in the womb of the purple dinosaur and upon settling in got news of the third and final death of the weekend. The bus.
A good laugh was had.