Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Weekend: Portaferry

On Sunday afternoon we left early on a beautiful morning and made our way to the family caravan which lies in a caravan park around 2 miles outside of Portaferry on a quiet section of the coast.
We have had the caravan for many years now and it is almost a home away from home as it has 3 bedrooms and all mod cons so you can still be close to nature but with creature comforts close a hand.

It wasn't always this luxurious. When we first had a caravan at the site it was an old one bedroom affair which meant Keith and I slept in the living room. There was also no electric or hot water available so it was back to basics. Showers were taken when necessary at the facilities at the rear of the site and an old black and white TV ran off a car battery with reception quite poor so it was mostly ignored although I do remember one memorable evening watching Aliens on the little 14" screen with the volume turned down after the folks had went to bed.

I had a smiliar TV in my bedroom where there was no buttons but knobs to turn into various UHF channels and it was late night films watching strange French flicks that got me into foreign movies especially New Wave films by Goddard and Truffaut in my later years.

Keith and I spent many summers here which varied between exhilarating fun and adventures with other children of similar age and utter boredom as there wasn't really anything to do beyond climbing rocks and fishing for crabs. I was so bored once I read a Jeffrey Archer novel so that should give you some idea of what you faced if you had nothing to do.

The caravan itself overlooks the Irish Sea and on a clear day you can see the Isle of Man. On a very clear day you can see Scotland but there's always boats of various shapes and sizes making their way accross the horizon.

There's a series of stony beaches and inlets running north along the shore to a lovely beach backed with sand dunes which up until recently was quite picturesque but now has too much washed up seaweed and needs desperately to be cleared away.

As intended, after taking a walk to the end of the beach and back, we set up the BBQ and enjoyed a few beers while the food cooked. Cows mulled in distant fields and a little cessna plane flew overhead as a yacht sailed past beyond the craggy rocks further up from the coastline. An old coastguard tower lies abandoned on a nearby hill now overrun with sheep.

When night falls, another view takes precedence. As the site is quite remote, there are no street lights for miles around and a blanket if stars wraps itself around you. It is difficult to pick out constellations because there are so many obscuring the night sky.

It is a special place for me as so many childhood memories and summers are bound up in the area, not only in the campsite but in Portaferry itself with the view over Strangford Lough and the ferry which takes passengers from one side to another not to mention the sweet shops and little nooks and crannies which only children can find and enjoy.


OpenID iamheatherjo said...

I've already threatened to visit Suzy one day, don't you start posting things that make me want to visit you guys too! :D

9:43 am  
Blogger Skry said...

I agree with iamheatherjo - you're making me homesick! Although I am surprised that it was sunny down there. Usually the wind is cold enough to cut you in two!

I do remember having some really great times down there, like building the rafts with everyone and playing mass-multiplayer games on the Gameboy, but I also remember being very bored and hating the place! I guess it depended on the weather and how many other people were there.

It was always a great place to be playing Hero Quest before we discovered the drinking version of the game :D

11:14 am  

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