I had been awake a while when I received a text from Christine in the kitchen “Wake up, it’s a beautiful morning, come and join me for breakfast!” John had left early with Joe on a marathon cycle ride along the coast road.
Unfortunately our boat trip round the Gobbins was not going to happen because there were not enough takers. However, not to be put off, we did some googling and found another boat trip on Lough Neagh in Antrim.
It was so warm outside that Christine suggested I sit a while in the garden. The view of the hills from there were so lush and green, that I just had to do a quick watercolour. They have all this rain here for a reason!
As we were leaving, cousin Lynda called in with her friend from England to say hi. They didn’t have enough time to join us. We had a brief chat about the party, etc., before heading down to Antrim. By the time we got there it had become cold and grey but we were made of sturdy stuff and we boarded the Maid of Antrim wearing fleece and hooded raincoats! Although the couple who ran the boat were friendly and supplied us with coffee, it was difficult to find much to enjoy on this trip. Even the wildlife had little going for it. ‘Look straight ahead and you will see the lesser spotted easy jet taking off from Ireland’s international airport’, came the skipper’s voice over the loudspeaker. This made us giggle anyway. (I added the ‘lesser spotted’) This trip across the Loch would have been transformed by some sunshine and warmth!
On the way back we called at a newly opened farm park at Donegore for some lunch. We wanted to see the Motte, a look out point involving a 550 foot climb. The view was spectacular despite the developing drizzle. “On a clear day this historic pre-Anglo-Norman motte has views of six Ulster counties. In earlier years the “Motte” was believed to have been a Passage Grave, but around 1798, it was an important meeting place for the United Irishmen preparing for the ‘Battle of Antrim’. We continued along the Nature Trail and then finally looked at the huge variety of farm animals, in various enclosures and well designed houses, making them accessible to children. We were most impressed.
We returned to find John sprawled on the settee relaxing after his successful cycling efforts.