Saturday, 30 June 2012

Day 09: Exploring Belfast and Land of the Giants

Nicky and Emily

Peace Day Pilgrim with Patrick in Holywood, Belfast

Titanic building, Belfast

PDP with Emily at the famous H&W cranes 

Patrick & Nicky giving PDP a tour of Belfast

Conor at the Apple Store donates PDP a replacement charger

Belfast City Hall

Ethna and Jemma take PDP out for the Land of Giants

...which then gets a little wetter!!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Day 06: Cushendall to Glenarm (13.2 miles)

The weather improved greatly today and the shorter distance was appreciated.

Just before Carnlough, I stopped in a small picnic area car part. Over the fence came the offer of a cup of coffee. It turned out to be a couple called John and Marie McAllister who had heard me on the BBC Radio Ulster. Marie filled me with eggs and bacon and all the coffee I could manage while John filled my head with information about dulse and U-boats and the Marchioness of Londonderry and her dog Urisk.

It was a fascinating lunch, made all the more wonderful when their daughter entered carrying a harp, as you do!! Without an introduction I was simply treated to my own private concert. It was both amazing and surreal and it left me floating down the rest of the day's path. Here is the film I made immediately afterwards. (Amy's website is

It was great to see a huge friendly face called Dougie when I arrived at Glenarm and to meet his wonderful wife Ann and their friend Keith. Inspiring conversation and tasty food. It was great to have a welcome from a seasoned outdoors man who appeared to know exactly what I needed when he picked me up.

Here are some photos from the day...

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Day 05: Corrymeela to Cushendall (15 miles)

Corrymeela Community
What a wonderful place to have found. The Corrymeela Community, located about 2 miles east of Ballycastle, is a peace and reconciliation centre, based on open Christian values, and committed to the healing of social, religious and political divisions in Northern Ireland and the rest of the world. You can find out more at

It was Angela McKenna who had contacted Paul Hutchinson, the director of the centre, and Paul who had welcomed me with open arms. I met many people there last night and this morning and cannot list them all but thanks to all of them for making me feel welcome and supported.

First walk and talk
Aaron from the centre offered to guide me towards Cushendun which was fantastic. So we walked for around four hours together, up and over the mountain, past the Vanishing Lake, and down into Cushenden. It was also great of Matt to come and collect Aaron. It was so good to have my first walking companion. Our conversation ranged across religion, spirituality and how good Keara's rocky road cake is. It made the first 10.5 miles fly by. Thanks Aaron...can't wait to hear about your plans to cycle to Jerusalem...(its out there now!!).

First radio interviews
The press is starting to catch on and it all kicked off with the following interviews which will only be available for a week after today I believe:

Mark Patterson on BBC Radio Foyle at 56 mins

Alan Simpson on BBC Radio Ulster at 51 mins

The Glens Hotel
Some workmen called Cal and Sean on the road into Cushendall recommended I try this hotel for a bed for the night and true to their word, Martin didn't take long to let me use one of his staff rooms which was very kind. I was spoilt for choice with three beds to choose from!
Seamus, Martin and Peace Day Pilgrim
Many thanks to Ciara, Seamus, Sally-Ann and Aidan for being so welcoming and Martin for saying "yes". You can find out more about the hotel at

A refreshing lager
It was the wonderfully smiley and welcoming staff at Harry's Bar who supplied a couple of very refreshing pints of Peroni along with Harry's Old Favourite burger. I asked them if they called it the HOF burger but apparently not. I imagined it being served by a red-shorted lifeguard on a plate shaped like one of those buoyancy aids. Maybe its just me and maybe I am losing is around the edges a bit. Eitherway, thanks to Una, Sioban and Cora for making me full and happy.

Sioban, Una and Cora at Harry's Bar 

Off to Glenarm via Carnlough to find a man called Doug tomorrow...more anon. Peacex

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Day 03: Portstewart to the Giant's Causeway (12 miles)

Massive thank you to Julie, Jimmy, Malin and Eliza for hosting me last night...and of course Pippin for helping me with directions. Shelly, you're pasta lunch has kept me going for two days and Keara your rocky road is so chocolatey and full of energy. Thank you.

I am finding it difficult to find time to type my blog updates so I think I am going to focus on uploading pictures and film until rest days otherwise I am just going to get boring I'm sure. So here they are for Day 03...

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Day 02: Limavady to Portstewart (12 miles)

30 odd miles has caught up with me. Trying to get at least something on the web in case I don't find somewhere tomorrow to stay. At the moment I am happy to say that I am staying with the most wonderful family here in Portstewart. More about them later but suffice to say I am overwhelmed at their hospitality. Malin and Eliza, the children are so delightful. But sleep is beckoning so a film from earlier and some pictures will have to do for now...explanations to follow tomorrow. Peacex