After a slightly delayed 8:30 (9:00) start, we were off to the wilderness that is Coláiste Chú Chulainn, Gaoth Dobhair. ‘Buachaillí agus cailíní’, alike went ‘chun Gaeilge a fhoghlaim le spórt agus spraoi’.
The first stop was Glenveagh, where we walked and walked, and walked some more in the sun to Glenveagh castle. There was a lot of ‘uachtar reoití’ bought and we toured the gardens. Then it was onto the bus and on to the ‘tithe’ where we were greeted by our ‘Bean an Tís’ and a lovely lunch. After lunch we had ‘ranganna’ in the sun with the company of some questionable dogs….The céilí of musical statues and the €20 ‘duais’ was won by a mad shuffle up and down the hall.
We got up for ‘bricfeasta’ the next day to rain and wind and fog. Unfortunately, our ‘turas báid’ to Gola Island was cancelled. Instead all the houses competed for €100 by eating dry crackers, building collapsible cup towers, folding quilts, running with and rolling footballs with our legs and heads! No hands allowed! When the results were announced at the céilí that evening, there were enthusiastic responses for the 3ú agus an chéad áit! Teach Marie Sweeney, 1st place, celebrated with raining money! Carndonagh took home more money again for winning the dashing and freezing competition at the céilí.
Then Amhráin na bFiann was sang beautifully for a last time (Thanks Niamh Douglas!) and the favourite dance An Dreoilín was danced and we were sent packing (literally) and up bright and early, ‘réidh’ for Gartan. With everyone wet-suited and booted, it was adventure time in the kayaks and canoes. Bhí an ghrian ag taitneamh, but that didn’t make the lovely weather much warmer when you fell in…..And so finally (and regrettably, it was back on the bus home again) , ‘dúirt muid slán’ one last time, and ‘Go raibh maith agat’.
Eimear Smyth, 5E