Another civilised QUBCC weekend away….
Co. Fermanagh, 9–11 November 2012
Author: Barry Monaghan
Present: Al Kennedy, David Mathews, Phil Maxwell, Sean “Miner” McAnulty, Barry Monaghan, Conor “Nuts” O’Neill, Roisin O’Neill, Adam Whiteside, Conor “Rocky” Winchcombe and more.
Being one of the club’s biggest trips, there was much preparation to be done. The gear was rallied together, batteries charged, the food bought and then some more food bought. But alas, Friday evening did come and exciting it was.
This trip was like no other trip I have seen. Firstly, so many people but secondly and more impressively was the number of drivers. We even left a car behind!
But all faffing aside with the transport it wasn’t long before the whole lot of us were on the road (some of the luckiest travelling with me in the Mystery Machine/party bus/culchie caving mobile).
With some stops for more supplies and yet more recruits along the way (note: the chippy in Ballygawley deserves another poke, it looked promising though I had already eaten) with more alcohol got in Enniskillen we travelled further into the dark. After arriving I realised I was one of the last groups to arrive. We quickly unpacked the sausages and supplies (for the morning to come) and began on our boozing. After a short while the fun was to start, Adam, Nuts and James arrived and roughly at this point the table traversing began, not many participated but most did have a good laugh (I think in particular at my attempts) from there we progressed to some squeezing challenges, but there wasn’t much of a challenge to be found. At this point I created my own new challenge. Window traversing. The objective, to climb through one window and out another without touching the ground, simple! I think I failed at my own game, Al of course succeeded. Some other trivial things happened that night but my next recollection is being faced with an overwhelming bright light. I wasn’t sure if I was dreaming or if I had fell on the road and a lorry-load of sheep were about to hit me. Turned out I was skinny dipping again with 2 fellow cavers with everyone else watching.
And no, you are wrong. The night was not over yet! After getting warmed up by the means of more rum and whisky, an expedition to the Cascades waterfall came into place, and so led by the lights mounted to our heads we proceeded up the glen to the waterfall where every QUB caver must be baptised/initiated. After the initiation of the newest members we turned back toward the hut. On our return everyone was merry as. But Nuts quickly highlighted our missing troop and so the search and rescue mission began (after MANY head counts by me, sorry folks!) turns out our lost soldier was doing some mighty good hiding in a bush. With everyone united we had a sensible cup of tea before heading to our beds (it was one adventurous night!)
Soon enough, daylight came once again and so it was time to find a dark cave to hide in until sunset. The day began with a mighty fry from our resident Chef Maxwell followed by some faffing before 3 groups set off, one to Boho (which was flooded) another to MAC and my own group to Pollthanarees. After a good few hours of kinky fun we left Pollthanarees with a story to tell and went for a gentle stroll through Upper Cradle. The caving all went rather smoothly but did leave a long walk home. On arrival we were baffled as to the whereabouts of the keys and after searching relentlessly gave up and settled down in the back of the mystery machine to huddle up and keep warm.
Soon enough we were rescued by Phil and quickly warmed up with his “Sausage Surprise”. After dinner we made it down to the piano bar which was too quiet for us lot. We soon found our way to a livelier location (Frank Eddie’s) and spent the night playing pool and telling stories, when we went back to the scout hut myself and Miner decided upon a trip to the Hoo, turned out it was just the two of us telling more stories by the side of the fire.
The following day came and after sleeping in we missed all the caving action so Miner set off for home while I joined the three lovely French ladies and Roisin for a good dander up the side of Cuilcagh (we never got to the top but still got a good view!). The day finished of in our usual style, meeting in Wetherspoons for a bite then off home.