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Abs’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 06 Aug 2006

Location: Belfast Internet Cafe, UK

MapHow bout ye?




The site for the Xtreme Watersports in Northern Ireland is


http://www.irishwakeboarding.com

If you do have time to get onto it; click on the Gallery and watch a Wake Video of Pete Stewart, and you will see what I mean by skill!!!

Tis Sunday morning and there is a slight problem... It's raining. Not cats and dogs. But mice (mece's?? what's the plural for mice??) and puppies. In other words; not raining too heavy. Yet.

In other news, I went to Colerain yesterday. Had a bloody brilliant day. Started off early in the morning to get the train there and once arrived was well noted to be a very hot summer's day (bout 22 degrees I think).

As I had previously booked myself a wakeboarding lesson I was very pleasantly surprised to be told by the owners of the Ski school that they were coming to pick me up from the train station. I was even prepared to get a bus or a taxi, but they wouldnt have a bar of that.

So, Mr Stewart (Not Alf from Home and Away!) picked me up in his new black Jeep and took me out to the River Bann. It was so lovely. Nick is also in business with Ski Nautique, and they have some beautiful world class boats there too.
So, I met the crew out there. Melanie Stewart is partner and an awesome wakeboarder in her own right (think she was 13th in the world). They have a wee bairn Brodie. He is only 7 months old!

Then I had a lesson with Peter Stewart, who is Irish No1 and got some instruction for once instead of just mucking around. I need to practice riding switch so that I feel more comfortable to then do a 180. When I first started wakeboarding and snowboarding I wasnt exactly sure if I was a natural or goofy but kept riding natural, and should have kept riding both. But hey, just need to practice and keep at it and keep having fun in between.

Imagine....

Beautiful warm day, not too much sun. The River Bann all sleek and smooth, like an ice pond. Lush green surroundings, with fields and paddocks all around and the goodness of country air filling your lungs. Then your hear a familiar sound that you have heard your whole life and feels like it's part of your soul...

...It's the sound of speedboats on water. The groan of the engine as it moans about being put through the freshwater of the River. Without realising it immediately, my heart sang at the sight of water, and people enjoying themselves on the River.



I know, deep stuff. Of course I am also sick for the thought of home, and that little part of Northern Ireland yesterday felt like a little part of home. I love finding home's away from homes.

So I sat by there all day and went out in the boat when Peter had a board - will upload photos and videos of it very soon!!!! People there assumed that I wasnt used to cold waters or cooler climates. But, I remember going out with Millsy and McGregor in the dead of Winter (maybe not the dead of winter), and watching them wakeskate, barefoot, wakeboard, and trying a few of them myself!! And then we were freezing our butts off until we got to my place.

I am laughing outloud at the memory of stumbling upon Millsy and McGregor in the laundry, sitting up on the bench running hot water in the sink and basically trying to almost sit in the sink- they were that frozen!!!! (Millsy and McGregor are big tall guys who wouldnt even fit in a shower together, let alone a laundry sink!) ... Still giggling... =D

Well I think I have raved and ranted enough for today. Gosh, this entry would even rival one of Dan's novels!!! (Not quite though Dan)..

Who is in France and said that it's sooo lovely and she can tell she will have a ball!! Im sure she will tell us all bout it on her planetranger.com/danski !!


Love everyone and miss everyone heaps.


xoxo