The Weekend QUB Didn't Go Caving (13–15 July 2012)
Co. Fermanagh, 13–15 July 2012

Author: Barry Montague (Bazza), QUB Caving Club Treasurer.

Present: Barney, James, Adam, Barry, Sean Miner.

After arriving at the union to meet up, with some faffing and phoning around to see who was yet to show, 4 of us (Barney, James, Adam and Barry) set off in the match box hot box and the culchie machine laiden with our gear. After stopping for supplies (food, cake, alcohol, the usual caving things) in Tesco and sampled some of the local cuisine from Enzo's. We continued onto el Costa Del Hoo, where we were greeted by the White Elephant and found Sean the Miner residing inside, using the phantom Wi-Fi. We quickly consumed Tesco's finest cuisine washed down with lots of alcoholic beverages. Later, a strange and rather confused animal appeared, dubbed "the Fermanaghmal". It had an unusual attraction to the inflatable sheep in the Hoo and attempted to mate with both the sheep and club captain, Barney. For more facts on the beast, the Aghnahoo log book has a detailed version of events. Not much else was too be remembered that night due to the consumption of copious amounts of Scotch, Rum and Herbal medicines.

The following day I awoke with the strange feeling of being warm (and no I was not spooning with a sheep), who knew the Hoo could be warm? After a good breakfast, slightly late, then a march round the surrounding fields while wearing nothing but a sash, a pair of shorts and a balaclava I returned to find Miner awake and the two male lovers still in bed. After much debate with no real agreement on what cave to visit, Sean the Miner suggested visiting an old mine up on the hill side of Mt Benbulbin. Deciding to try something new, we took a spin towards the Glencar Lake side of the mountain. We all noted the Celtic symbol created by the two colours of trees in a plantation on the side of a hill and followed Miner's lead towards Glencar Waterfall. The following few hours were dull and involved the match box hot box being abandoned at the bottom of the mountain, whilst the White Elephant and Culchie Mobile travelled up the hill side. Much bog was tramped upon and many pictures of old rusty machines taken. Once the mine was located we decided to explore the first level as it looked interesting (Miner got particularly excited and took many notes and gave many boring lectures on the process of narrow vein mining of barytes). On returning to the auto-mobiles it was decided to travel into Manorhailton to purchase supplies for a BBQ back at the Hoo, however, it wasn't the brightest idea, as it was dark, cold, wet and scary, when we eventually reached the Hoo. In Manorhamilton a few pints were drank in the central bar, and later in a lovely little bar on the same street, we noted the welcoming locals and good drink, and promised to return with epic caving stories. At the Costa del Hoo, the team split, with one group going to find fire wood and kindling, whilst myself and Barney continued towards the Hoo, with our mission being to get the fire going. Later that night, a few Dubs arrived to find the Fermanaghmal sitting in the corner with no shirt causing them to become confused, edgy and terrified of this ancient caving beast. After regaling there technically perfect caving stories, we all hit the hay in the wee hours of the morning.

Those fecking Dubs woke me up before midday on Sunday, I think, really have to think, it was 8.30. The rude awakening shook me, and groggily I proceeded to get fed and visited Bloodstone's to avail of proper toilet facilities. Whilst wandering back to the car, a strange man, Michael, some how identified one as a fellow caver and proceeded to deftly remove the ear wig from my right shoulder. Michael was here to try caving himself, and after chatting to a few of Shannon Caving Group's new recruits, Gaelan led the recruits off to go caving. Back at the Hoo, the lover boys were still in bed, and we awoke them and returned to Bloodstone's. Yet more faffing occurred, it was agreed to go canyoning. After much initial excitement, we gave up after realising our rigging was simply, utterly rubbish. The compass was pointed towards Belfast and we arrived home without exploring one single cave all weekend.