Juanito’s Travels 50-Yr-Backpacker – Enniskillen, Northern Ireland in the Carrot Car 1995 BlogPt12

Agatha’s friend from Spain was staying at la Chaparrita. Ines was away with her boyfriend, so there was a spare bed in the girls’ room. The Irish guy was away so I was sleeping in his bed.

In the middle of the night Agatha decided to come down and get into my bed. We hugged and chatted and caressed a little. I ended up with an erection that felt like the size of my forearm, as hard as a stick.

‘Is it ok if I take my pants off?’ I asked Agatha.

‘Sure’ she said.

We played around a bit more, kissing a little.

‘I can’t’, she said.

‘That’s fine’, I said, and we just held each other. We continued to hold each other the rest of the night, my erection pressing into her back until early morning, just before dawn, when Agatha jumped up out of bed.

She said something like, ‘I have to get up for the quiet hour.’ I’m not sure if it was the quiet hour, or the silent hour or something similar. We’d watched some French film set in the French countryside where they were really into the time of the day right at the end of the night, but just before dawn, where the night sounds cease and the morning sounds of birds and the such, has yet to begin. It wasn’t really an hour, more like 5 minutes, but because of the silence it felt like an hour. It was an arty sort of film.

It was meant to be an especially quiet time of day though, this quiet hour or whatever they called it. They may have called it something much cooler than the quiet hour, but for the life of me I can’t remember.

I was too tired to get up so I just rolled over. I started to think why Agatha ‘couldn’t’. Was she married like Corrine? Or did she have a boyfriend, or a girlfriend? Was she a man? She didn’t feel like a man. Was she not into men? Not into me? Did she have her period? Or was she just not in the mood. I never asked though, so now in 2022, I still wonder why. It was all pretty cool anyway, I was, and still am, just interested. I wanted sex, but I had had a year without it. After Corrine’s visit to the Brock’s farm, and our trip travelling around AustraliaI’d pretty much lived the life of a celibate monk. Working, meditating, working, sleeping.  (Like I mentioned in an earlier post a fictionalised version of this affair is here – one of the main fictions being I didn’t mention we’d met at a train station and we didn’t travel together with my Bulgarian mate Kosio, much of the rest is pretty much true).

Of course I masturbated most nights when I was on the farm having no sex, just as I took the opportunity to do when Agatha had popped out of bed in the early hours of the Dublin morning. But I had no love interest and no sex or girlfriend for over a year.

About 45 minutes later Agatha returned, looking a bit guilty.

‘I wrote something on the wall’ she said.

‘Oh’, I said.

I got up and peeped through the curtain. Across the road on the wall was scrawled in uneven purple spray paint was the words: ‘The Quiet Hour’.


The next day we got into the German girls car and headed to Northern Ireland. The car was a light green with stencilled carrots all over it. We therefore called it the carrot car.

When we reached the border with Northern Ireland we had to show our passports to the British army guys there with big deadly looking guns and berets. They made us drive the carrot car into this big thick concrete barrier place in case they needed to blow the car and the 4 occupants up.

After satisfying themselves we were just some beatnik hippy types rather than provisional IRA, they waved us through. They didn’t smile. This was still a time of The Troubles, with sporadic violence still part of their recent history. It seemed to be getting better though, and nothing like the 70s & 80s. The Troubles were on the way to being not so much a trouble with a capital T.

The weather turned depressing as soon as we crossed the border. Dark, cloudy and miserable. Worse than I’d ever seen in Dublin in the few months I’d been visiting there. We drove down streets lined with houses where people displayed their Union Jacks proudly. Then we’d see some IRA inspired art on some walls and Irish flags waving.

Agatha said she knew some place on a lake near the town of Enniskillen that had cheap accommodation. It was in an old nunnery or something.

Part of my best friend from Palm Beach Currumbin High School Christophe’s family came from Enniskillen. They were protestants. His grandfather, whom he lived with growing up, still called Catholics ‘Micks’.  Enniskillen is in County Fermanagh, which borders my Grandmother Bee’s birthplace of County Sligo, which was more of a Catholic place.

We found the place in Enniskillen after a few hours drive through Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is pretty small, especially compared to Australia – you can fit all or Ireland just in Tasmania. It was a creepy, dark manor that we found in Enniskillen. Quiet. Very Quiet. Quiet enough to murder us all and not be noticed all that much as long as you could dispose of the carrot car and our bodies. We entered what seemed to be the main entrance of the manor building. It seemed all but deserted. We tried to find someone but couldn’t see anyone. All of a sudden this guy appears. He looks like Lurch from the Addams family, a creepy loner, even creepier than the creepy manor. The type who might mail bombs to people. He wasn’t much help. We all got the Heebie Jeebies and decided to split, just like Scooby Doo and the gang might do on one of their misadventures, after Velma or one of the gang ‘had a bad feeling about this’.

We instead found a room at a hotel in Enniskillen town itself. It had 2 singles beds and a double.

After dumping our bags we went to a very, very small pub which seemed mainly frequented by locals who didn’t really want a bar of some suspicious looking foreign types.

The German girl – I guess I should name her, let’s call her Hilda – and Agatha’s friend from Spain took the single beds and Agatha and I shared the double. There didn’t seem to be any discussion about it, it just happened. Agatha and I were the mum and dad, and the Hilda and the Spanish woman were the kids they joked.

Agatha and I hugged again most of the night. I loved having her body next to mine.

Nothing much happened in Northern Ireland, it was basically a drive through. I’m sure it’s nice in parts and as we were leaving the weather did improve a bit with a few breaks in the dark clouds and a bit of sunshine. All up our Northern Ireland adventure was not even two whole days. I don’t know if I’ll ever be back, mainly because there’s a million other places to go, but you never know, I might make my way there another day, maybe check out the craic of Belfast or the far north coast.

Northern Ireland out of our system we made our way to Donegal. Which back then seemed like a long way away, but looking at Google maps is just a 48 minute drive.

I might start with Donegal next post though.