A Norwegian family are floating on air after finding “treasure” in the mountains — a note attached to balloons released in West Cork a full six months earlier promising the bearer a host of prizes,.
A bunch of six helium balloons was freed in Dunmanway on December 19. The note tied to one of them invited the person who found it to contact Catherine Crowley in Dunmanway Chamber of Commerce.
Ms Crowley said they got the idea after a friend found a balloon in West Cork a few days after it had been released at a funeral in Wales.
The finder was in line to win a stay for two in Gallys on the Green B&B, chocolates from Deirdre Kelly, a hamper from For Goodness Sake Health Shop, a bottle of wine from Connollys shoe shop, lunch for two in Marnies Restaurant, and wash, cut and shave, and bottle of champagne, from Ms Crowley’s Boyz to Men barbers.
“When we released our balloons, it looked as if they wouldn’t even clear the roofs,” Ms Crowley joked.
“But six months on, we’d almost given up hope of them being found. Then last Wednesday, I got a phonecall from this woman in Norway to say she’d found our balloon. It was incredible.”
Linda Taule, from the Naustdal region, said she had been on a 2.5-hour hike with her son Magnus, 7, when they spotted three balloons tangled in a tree together.
They thought it was rubbish and took it so they could dump it at home. They then discovered a sodden note attached. They dried it out and contacted the number, to discover they were being invited to Dunmanway to collect their prizes. Linda told the Irish Examiner she said to Magnus: “It is like we found this treasure.” She said the first thing she and husband Vinggo did was check out how much flights to Cork for them, Magnus, and daughters Nora, 5, and Pernilla, 9, would be. “They were a bit above our budget for this year,” she said.
However, Ms Crowley, who outlined the story on the Ray D’Arcy show on RTÉ Radio One yesterday, said they have been inundated with offers of sponsorship to get the family to Ireland.
“Offers are flooding in, accommodation and day trips being offered. We’d hope to get them over in about six weeks,” she said.
Linda said they would really love to come. She and Vinggo holidayed here in 2004 visiting Belfast, the west coast, and Dublin.