We decided to have a big Friday night out in a little village named Ballydehob, near Schull where we are working. Ballydehob was having a week-long festival (I don’t remember what they were celebrating, but I think it was just another reason to have a pint). There were a few events happening at 7:30pm (Irish time) on Friday night that I was extremely curious about. All that was listed on the brochure that Jeff and I picked up were, ‘World Championship Turnip Racing, Slow Bicycle Race, Go Cart Race (bring your own), and Partner Wheelbarrow Race (adult and child divisions).’ My imagination ran wild. After asking our farm hosts what the wheelbarrow race was, they said, ‘the first person slams a pint at the pub, then jumps in a wheelbarrow and the partner pushes them.’ Jeff’s immediate response, ‘We can totally win this!’
We arrived in town at 7:30 with our fellow WWOOFers and there isn’t anything going on in town, or many people present. However, this seemed normal as town was only about 1 small city block long. We popped into a pub and had a pint and when we left an hour later events were happening in the street! Note: I'm pretty sure the whole town, and the next town over, were present for the festival.
Even growing up in small town USA can’t prepare you for the excitement of Turnip Racing…
We watched the Backwards Footrace, slow bicycle race (last one wins), dog race, and finally it was time for the wheelbarrow race! Jeff snagged an unclaimed wheelbarrow and me as his passenger. Turns out, I was the only female participant. I was already a little nervous because I have never been able to drink like an Irishman, and although I had pretty good practice in Houghton, that was a few years ago… Anyways, here were the rules given to us (there were no rules): you had to stop at each pub (WAIT! WHAT?!There’s more than 1 beer to chug???!!!) and the wheelbarrow pusher couldn’t help drink (apparently they take drinking and driving seriously here).
I was freaking out because I haven’t chugged more than 1 beer since I was trying to impress people in college, but Jeff was pretty confident since we had spent the whole week wheelbarrowing loads of garbage around the farm.
Here’s the proof. Please ignore me tossing beer over my shoulder. This seemed to be a strategic tactic that everyone used. It was crappy Miller anyway. There were 5 pubs to stop at and poor Jeff got a workout pushing me up the hill that main street was on.
We ended up with a bronze medal!!!!!! Just kidding, we did get third place, but they only gave trophies to the Turnip Race winners, and the first place for the wheelbarrow race won beer money. And they were only going to give that money to locals (fair enough). My favorite photo- not sure exactly what is going on here...
We celebrated our win by spending the next few hours in the pub listening to live music!!!!
We still aren’t sure what the festival was celebrating, but we did learn that the best way to live like a local is to jump right in (a wheelbarrow), and not be afraid of getting soaked with a wee bit of beer!
We will post more about our farming experiences in a few days. We have done various jobs so far, but my favorite one was to build this enclosure for 6 ducks! Also, for those of you following us on Instagram- we have moved out of the caravan and into a room in the farmhouse.