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 www.corrymeela.org.
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|
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