Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Heron in HOLLYWOOD !

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.

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


Looking East 

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.


It has always been my custom, when on day trips, to make the return journey on a different route, as far as possible, than the road out.  So it was that Mrs H, my trusty navigator, brought us home avoiding the cities and towns, on a scenic road that led past a Neolithic dolmen which stands on a bank of the River Greese. 
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!


21 comments:

  1. And maybe next time I shall have my photo taken below the sign as it's the closest I'll get to Hollywood.

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    1. I hope you mean a road sign and not the one up the mountain ;-) ??

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  2. It was traditional with some in LA to climb up and have your picture taken under the looming letters...although they may have outlawed it now!

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    1. Thank you String :-) that's just what I did not want to know because this means I shall have to clamber up the mountain and take pic of Mrs H.
      Unless I can borrow a telephoto lens of course.

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  3. I enjoyed this immensely. The farmer and I flew to Dublin a few years ago, hired a car, and then drove across to The Dingle Peninsula and The Ring of Kerry. We found the people so friendly, the food delicious, the Burren really lived up to its reputation. (dark and brooding)

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    1. I've done exactly the same trip as Weaver, a little jaded though after a 48 hour Irish wedding. I agree, it is a wonderful place to be. Must come back one day.

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    2. Hi Rusty, yes the celebrations in Ireland call upon our reserves of stamina for a Wedding or a Wake. I was at one Wake that went on for three days and was exhausted at the end!

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  4. Didn't they call the Hollywood in America, Hollywood Hills? I believe (read somewhere) that this was deemed unlucky because Hollywood Hills is 13 letters and it became an ill fated suicide spot. I think you would be good at writing a travel memoir book, Heron.

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    1. Hi Dave you could very well be right there however the US Hollywood was named by Matthew Guirke from Hollywood, Co. Wicklow.

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  5. You cannot post too many pictures of your lovely land.

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    1. Thank you Joanne. I think perhaps I should tell you that I am not Irish.
      This island is my adoptive homeland and it is very beautiful.

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  6. What a beautiful tribute to Dan, very poignant. Like Joanne, I too love all the pictorial tours of Ireland that you give us. It has been quite a few years since I have been to Eire and I have always been south and west. Hopefully next year when we have more time we can make a return journey and explore other areas xxxx

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    1. Hello Fran,
      Thank you for your comments and if you do manage to come to Ireland next year perhaps we could meet :)

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    2. That would be lovely x

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  7. What an expansive view from your sky high perch! "Marching Weekend"... that is interesting. Amusing, seeing that Hollywood sign.

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    1. Thanks for your appreciation Gwen and on behalf of Teddy 'thanks a million'

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  8. How very lovely. So something nice came out of something not so good....a lovely tour around your beautiful country.....very interesting

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  9. Thanks Margaret. Yes, you are quite correct the day ended very well for us.

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  10. What a lovely vicarious trip, and to feel the calm lushness of a mild summer's day. I can smell the grass growing from here. :) Thanks for that Mr. H. X

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