And we needed it, for just as our roly-poly flying pony in The Legend of Kevin was blown into the town of Bumbleford on a magical storm, Reeve & McIntyre were blown across magical Donegal on the winds of Storm Callum.
And we had excellent company! Most notable was our first driver, Grace, who took us all the way from Belfast to Bundoran (two and a half hours). Locals might recognise her as one of the stars of the TG4 Gaelic channel's Turas Bóthair show (translated as Road Trip), where she's filmed having conversations about life, the universe and everything with her passengers. And we did have a good craic!
And we got to see some lovely places! Here's the beach at Bundoran:
And who did we run into at breakfast but fellow road tripper Jonathan Meres!
Jonathan was also on the Waifest circuit and tweeted this when he got back:
The place certainly had a lot of sofas.
We got to explore a coastal path that led to a place called the Fairy Bridges...
...which were as magical as anyone could hope for! The beach is hugely popular with surfers, and quite a few had alerady gathered for the approaching winds.
And a lovely storybook cottage:
Here are Kevin from the Wainfest library team, Ballyshannon librarian Colin Drummond, Donna from Wainfest, and David and Liam from Eason Letterkenny. (If you're quick, they might have some signed copies of our books in their shop!)
We taught school children in Ballyshannon Community Library how to draw Kevin the roly-poly flying pony, and quite a few of them took off and added lots of story elements (many containing biscuits).
Our driver on the second day, Michael, took a slight detour on the way to Kilcar so we could see the gorgeous cliffs and beaches of the coastal road:
Aislann Chill Chartha library is quite remote, and we ditched the regular Legend of Kevin stage show for a cosy comics making session with the kids who turned up.
These Comic Jams really made me laugh! Each panel is created by a different person, and you can find out more about Comic Jams in some videos I made for Booktrust here.
Bundoran library was in a lovely converted church building and had this beautiful boat hanging from the ceiling:
Probably our most enthusiastic crowd came to us at Cardonagh Community Library, where librarians Gerard and Belinda had lots of our books on the shelves and the kids were eager to draw. But not just the kids! Local artist Tim Stampton heard about our visit and made a special trip in to talk with us. He's created an absolutely beautiful book of woodcut prints, called The Hobby Horse, exploring the origins of the hobby horse, then taking the form off into flights of fancy. He very kindly let me have a copy of the book, which I shall treasure.
And then we had a mad sea monkey drawing session! And lots of other things, like magical pets, all picking up on themes from The Legend of Kevin. The kids did a great job singing the Sea Monkey Song, and really lifted our spirits!
Big thanks to the Donegal County Library Service Wainfest team for bringing us out, and particular thanks to those librarians along our way who made an effort to spread the word, and were able to connect children with our books after we'd got them excited about reading them.