In The Rain

In The RainI am not a camping person. That is not surprising seeing that I am much closer now to senility than I am to adolescence. The trouble is, I never was a camping person. That however, did not deter me from joining a group of ‘friends’ who were attending a Fleadh Cheoil in Gorey, Co. Wexford at a time when I had as much money as sense -which was none of either!

We arrived in the town on a wet, clammy evening. The weather was having more than a dampening effect on proceedings. Our camping expertise was non-existent and as we could not afford indoor accomodation so we had to make-do with what we could construct. That did not provide a recipe for comfort. Our makeshift shelter was incapable of keeping out the rain from above or dampness from below and this was not helped by the fact that too many of my companions were all demanding space for themselves – space that wasn’t there.

Underground conditions were deteriorating, tempers were becoming frayed and space was at a premium. At about three in the morning I could stand things no longer. I gathered my few belongings and decided that walking the fields in the rain presented a more attractive proposition than sharing the dampening groundsheet with a crowd of disgruntled and by now drunken malcontents.In The Rain

I emerged just as the light was breaking through. I had no idea as to what my next move would be until miraculously, fate intervened. As I ambled aimlessly through the multitude of camps – mostly similar in style and setting to our own – what did I spot on the ground but a ten-shilling note? Now you know that I am no spring-chicken! My conscience went off on a holiday and I decided that the powers from above were looking after me.

I made my way to an adjacent hotel, spoke to the porter and got an assurance, on producing my new-found treasure note, that i would be looked after within a short while. Meanwhile I was granted access to a bathroom with shower and how I luxuriated as I washed away all the discomfort and grime of the previous hours. When the kitchen in the hotel opened I had a ‘Full-Irish’ breakfast with lashings of everything. I was refreshed, replenished and reinvigorated.  The one-and six I had left after hotel expenses went that evening to pay for cold chips and colder tea.  The entire experience put me off camping for life and off Fladhanna for over a decade. I am not sure that I have yet recovered.

Author: Michael Ryan
Edited By: The CampTrip Team

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