Barra Best experiences how the climate shapes people's lives and discovers that while nothing can be done to change the weather, people can use it to their advantage.
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I'm in County Fermanagh at the foothills of the Cuilcagh mountains
and making my way to the Marble Arch Caves.
-Hello, how are you?
-How are you? God, that's some walk!
SHE LAUGHS Great weather for it, though, isn't it?
-Yes. Are you ready to go underground?
-I am indeed. Let's go.
-If you want to follow me, we'll head on in.
'Michelle's going to be my guide through this fascinating
'natural underworld of waterfalls, rivers, caves and winding passages.
'It's beautiful and brilliant.'
We're deep below Fermanagh and you may be forgiven for thinking
that the weather above won't affect us, but it does.
Yes, it does. The rainwater that falls on Cuilcagh Mountain,
it's actually the catchment area for the three rivers that flow
into the Marble Arch Caves.
And we're actually making our way up one of the rivers,
it's called the Cladagh Glen.
So, you can imagine the weather that we experience in Fermanagh
and in particular up on Cuilcagh Mountain
has a large impact in relation to the show cave.
We're able to come comfortably through this cave, but it all
depends on the amount of rainfall that we get above, doesn't it?
This cave tour is very much weather-dependent.
There's days where we have to opt that we actually don't have a cave tour available.
It really depends on the blanket bog,
whether or not the blanket bog is dry or if it's saturated.
It depends if it's local rain or if it has fallen at a distance
and it also depends on what the rivers are like, if they've had
a period of time where they've dried up or if there's water in it.
That is why the staff that work here monitor the weather forecast on a daily basis.
You're actually going outside and visually looking at Cuilcagh Mountain
to see if it's under cloud, if it's raining,
what you think is happening on the mountain, because it has its own little climate.
In terms of weather, what's your perfect scenario?
-Best-case scenario is probably the rarest situation that we ever have,
is that when we have a heatwave.
I knew you were going to say that!
But even at the moment, you know, we've had a period of
a whole week now where we've had just dry weather. It's not hot,
it's not sunny, but there's been no rain up on Cuilcagh Mountain
and that changes everything.
It changes amount of water coming off the mountain,
it changes the atmosphere in the cave.
I really like it when we've had a little bit of rainwater
and it's coming into the cave and the rivers are rising slightly
and you can hear the rumbling of the river.
And that is part of the experience and the excitement
for members of the public. So, people who do arrive on a rainy day,
I don't think they're losing out, I think they're seeing it
in a different way, and to me, that's what it's all about.
-Every cloud has a silver lining.
-Yes, we could say that!