On Sunday we made arrangements to visit a friend on the East coast and rather than use the motorway to Dublin we decided to go cross country, using the small slow roads to admire the scenery. All was going very well until an incident took place which meant that we were delayed for one and a half hours, so we cancelled the visit to our friend.
Feeling the need for refreshments we headed off for a coffee to a small village which sits at the foot of Slievecorragh -‘rocky or rugged mountain’. On the summit is a sculpture of a kitchen chair, inscribed with the name Dan Clancy, a young man whose home was at the bottom of the mountain and who would frequently climb up there to see the sunset. Sadly Dan died in New York of cancer aged 31 in February 2004 and the chair with its’ teddy bear is a memorial to his life and love of the mountain.
For more details see :http://godsthumbprint.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/dan-clancys-chair-and-teddy/
The memorial chair to Dan Clancy
On the lower slopes of Slievecorragh, written in large white letters, is a very familiar name-place which in Irish is Cillín Chaoimhín, better known as Hollywood.
It was from this place during the Great Famine of the 1840’s that Matthew Guirke emigrated to the USA and on to California where he became a successful business man. He gained further fame by naming a suburb of Los Angeles with the English name of his former home and so Hollywood was created.
The village has a long association with 6th Century Saint Kevin and many pilgrims once passed through following in his footsteps, on their way to the monastic settlement at Glendalough.
A great Inn for refreshments.
With our coffee break over we drove along an almost continuous climb to a ridge called Windy Gap in the Wicklow Mountains. In the sizeable car park Mrs H took the camera for a brisk walk in a cool wind to take photos of the views, whilst I sat in a meditative state enjoying a pleasing pipe of the aromatic Clan tobacco, with the front window down to watch the comings and goings of the tourists.
Looking West from The Gap
From The Gap we drove steadily down the mountain as it is very steep and twisty in some parts and one can’t be too careful, especially when there are wild young Dubs and scenery gazing tourists around each bend.
Our next stop was at The Meeting of the Waters for more refreshments, by which time my tongue was crying out for a cup of strong black tea with a dash of milk to ease it down. We sat outside in warm sunshine listening to the different accents of the customers, many having travelled down from the North as this was Marching Weekend. Known as ‘The 12th’ this is a time when quite a few people take the opportunity to come down South and we are very glad of their company - and their money in these hard times!
The Meeting of the Waters, the two rivers are the Avonbeg & the Avonmore
Above the confluence of the two rivers is a pub of the same name and set in the wall a relic of an earlier time, a post box from the Victorian era.
Unfortunately there was nowhere to park so we had to keep going but we have it marked and shall return to take photos one day. On our return home, after a journey of 193 kms (120 miles) I was pleased to see that my economical driving had only used up a quarter of a tank petrol, approx 12 litres (2.5 UK gallons) - not too bad for a sixteen year old Starlet that had travelled to Hollywood and back!