TURAS AERAÍOCHTA

D’eagraigh ‘Time on Your Hands’, Magh, turas an-sultmhar go Gleann Cholm Cille an tseachtain seo caite. D’éirigh thar barr leis an lá. Chuaigh muid den chéad dul síos go Baile Dhún na nGall, agus ansin ar aghaidh chuig Moin Séarlais don lón agus ansin go Sliabh Liag agus Gleann Cholm Cille féin – ‘siombail dóchais ag pobail bheaga ar fud na hÉireann’. Bhí an áit ag fáil bháis sular bhunaigh an tAthair Mc Dyer comharchumann ansin. Tagann na céadta mac léinn ó chríocha an domhain mhóir chuig coláiste Oideas Gael gach bliain, ionad atá an-tábhachtach maidir le cultúr gus geilleagar an cheantair.

Bhí a lán turasóirí thart sna háiteanna inar stop muid. Caithfidh mé a rá go bhfreastalaíonn siad go maith ar na cuairteoirí i ndeisceart Dhún na nGall. Fuair muid lón sa Village Tavern i Moin Séarlais. Cuireadh fearadh na fáilte romhainn. Bhí an bainisteoir ag fanacht linn ag an doras; bhí an tseirbhís an-mhaith agus bhí an bia thar a bheith blasta. Tugadh DVD faoin cheantar do bhaill an ghrúpa saor in aisce. Ni raibh ach gearán amháin agam: na praghasanna sna siopaí. Bhí suim agam i leabhar i siopa amháin go dtí go bhfaca mé an praghas: €60 (£47.50 sa Tuaisceart). Ceantar mór ceoil atá ann ach bhí níos mó ná €20 ar na dlúthdhioscaí go minic. Shílfeá go mbeadh na siopaí sásta le brabús níos lú in áit gan bheith ábalta a stoc a dhíol.

Tá bonn óir tuillte ag ár dtiománaí. Ní mótarbhealach é an ród idir Baile Dhún na nGall agus Gleann Cholm Cille. Bheadh sé níos tráthúla bheith ag éisteacht le válsaí Strauss nó le ceol traidisiúnta ar an turas. Ach tiománaí an-mhaith a bhí ann - an-gharach, an-fhoighneach. Lá taitneamhach ar fad a bhí againn - comhluadar maith, radhairc iontacha, agus blas den Ghaeltacht. Tá turas eile pleanáilte ag ‘Time on Your Hands’ don mhí seo chugainn.

AN EXCURSION

Last week the ‘Time on Your Hands’group in Muff organised a very enjoyable excursion to Glencolmcille. It was a most successful day. We went first of all to Donegal Town and then on to Mountcharles for lunch, and then to Sliabh Liag and Glencolmcille itself – ‘a symbol of hope for small communities throughout Ireland’. The place was dying before Fr. Mc Dyer established a cooperative there. Hundreds of students come to the Oideas Gael college every year from all over the world. This centre is very important for the local culture and the local economy.

There were many tourists around in the places we stopped. I have to say that they look after tourists well in south Donegal. We had lunch in the Village Tavern in Mountcharles. We were given a warm welcome. The manager was waiting for us at the door; the service was very good and the food was delicious. The members of the group were given a free DVD about the area. I had only one complaint: prices in the shops. I was interested in a book in one shop until I saw the price: 60 euro (£47.50 in the North). This area has a great reputation for music, but CDs often cost more than 20 euro. You would think that shops would be happier with a smaller profit rather than not being able to sell their goods. Our driver deserves a gold medal. The road between Donegal Town and Glencolmcille is not a motorway. Listening to Strauss’s waltzes might have been more appropriate than listening to traditional music. But the driver was very good - very obliging, and very patient. We had a most enjoyable day – good company, marvellous views, and a taste of the Gaeltacht. ‘Time on Your Hands’ is planning another excursion next month.