|Despite being a four-pointer, I recalled this as being
a very easy and safe walk. We drove Westwards along the B15 from
and then Jimmy, complete with the OSI Road Atlas of Ireland upon his
lap, directed me along country lanes. He was customarily successful I
taking me to the start of the access track at D144278. There is plenty
of space to park here, so we did, and just after 6pm, we were wandering
along the stony track, part of the Moyle Way, and into the forest. Our
boots were pretty wet after Knocklayd GI/AH-002,
so we stuffed them with newspaper and left them in the car. Trainers
would suffice for Slieveanorra, with its hard access track all the way
up to the transmitter complex on the summit.
A short distance into the forest, and we spotted a yellow tent at the
side of the track. A chap was preparing one of those packet hiker's
meals, the types they sell in Millets and Yeomans. I have never tried
one myself. We chatted to him for a while. He was a Scotsman, and was
walking the Moyle Way in two days. Conscious of limited daylight, we got
on our way again, and made swift progress as we wound our way up the
weaving track to the summit.
After a rest, a natter and a few photos, I eventually switched on the
VX-7R hand-portable, fed to the RSS (SOTA Beams Rucksack Special)
antenna standing above my head. It was nearly 7 o'clock, and if I recall
correctly, we initially got going by gatecrashing an existing QSO,
having been unable to solicit any action from the calling channel.
However, after the two stations in Scotland were worked - and they left
us their frequency because they were going QRT anyway - there was a
steady stream of GI callers until we closed down at nearly 7.30pm.
The only packing away to do was placing the VX-7R in my jacket pocket
and the logbook and pencil back in the zip compartment of the mapcase.
The target was to be back at the car by 8pm, just about in the last
dregs of daylight. As we passed the tent again, there was no sight nor
sound of the Moyle Way walker, who was either fast asleep, or somewhere
in the dark of the adjacent forest hunting for his supper!
We reached the car ahead of our target time of 8pm, and commenced the
drive back to Larne along the A2 Antrim Coast Road. The menu in the chip
shop we called in at offered a full Chicken Maryland meal, so I ordered
a couple of those to devour back at my father-in-law's house. The
battered chicken, battered pineapple rings, battered banana, sausage,
bacon and chips were washed down with a couple of cans of Harp lager,
all in good time for the commencement of Match of the Day on BBC1. In
the meantime, a check on the text revealed that Macclesfield Town had
won 2-1 at home. What a great day! Thanks to the following stations,
all worked on 2m FM with 2.5 watts: