Always a flight risk

Yes, we’ve been lolly-gagging in this general area of Ireland for what seems like ages. After complaining that we really hadn’t heard much in the way of local music, an old sailing friend swore that a July 12th demonstration, or march as they refer to it, was not to be missed, and to just think of it as a fun show. As it happens, there’s one scheduled not too far away in Ballinamallard. We can wait around for that.

Still, there’s always something to see in Ireland and, as anyone can see, our track at can only be described as drunken wanderings. Always a flight risk, apparently we Escapees really need goals and strict adult supervision. Nevertheless I thought I might have a word with you about what we’ve been up to while waiting for the parade in Ballinamallard, while still trying not to wander too far away.

We’d been waiting for the police to find the missing person who disappeared at Slieve League so the mountain would reopen and we could visit the cliffs, but it was more than a week before they found a body and declared it a homicide and by that time we had moved on.

After a brief stop to exchange an empty LPG tank with UK fittings for a rather pricy full tank we soldiered on and, while it wasn’t raining, we thought we’d get reacquainted with the megalithic world at Drumskinney Stone Circle.

The sheer number of stone circles, cairns, and alignments spread over these many acres begs the question, “Who did this, why did they do this, and what does all this mean?” It’s awfully quiet on the answer side of things.

With the resumption of the classic on again, off again light Irish rain, we took to Escape Velocity to enjoy a circuitous forest drive up to a stunning parkup high above Lough Swilly on the Urris Hills.

The following morning dawned sunny and still, only disturbed by 50 or so Audi enthusiasts, determined to shoehorn their cars into our small car park on top of the mountain. We went for a hike.

I’ve noticed aggressive speed bumps bolted all over many car parks in Ireland and I’m beginning to understand why. About the time we got back from our hike the Audis took turns leaving with a burn-out and a horn toot, just as mysteriously as they came. Nobody knows who they were or what they were doing there.

We decided on a change in altitude and Marce found a charming riverside parkup on Lower Lough Erne with a small dock, toilets, and — be still my heart — showers, with enough sunshine to get these photos.

Later those beautiful clouds you see contained plenty of rain and hail which chased us off our folding chairs on the dock, and had us sprinting for EV. Apparently our sailing weather prediction skills have atrophied.

We decided to keep things at or near sea level while working our way towards Ballinamallard. Not content with just a beautiful parkup with a river view, Marce found a place that included an unsolved mystery. I was concerned with the narrow access road that wound its way through dense trees and scrub along the shoreline.

Really it was little more than a path. Sure enough, at the end we found a tiny car park with one of the few trash receptacles in all of Ireland, filled to overflowing with beer cans. Not a good sign.

Taking a walk we noticed a small old rough concrete pier with a municipal looking number on a post right in front of it.

Turns out there are several dozen of the narrow 20 foot long piers with a small T at the end of each, equally spaced and numbered, all along the waterfront.

No one knows who they were, why they did this, or what it all means.

If it’s true that every rain drop that falls on you is a teardrop you’ll never have shed, we should be in good nick this morning for our drive to Ballinamallard.

We have to navigate all the way through town to get to our reasonably priced mid town parkup for the weekend. We found ourselves immediately diverted upon entering town but somehow stumbled back onto the road toward the parkup. No harm no foul, but I’ve never seen such a large empty and barren gravel lot that was supposed to be the rendezvous fall-in central party area for all the bands.

Told to park anywhere, I chose a spot near the front gate but when I realized they were setting up an outdoor beer bar and we’d be directly between the port-a-loo and the beer, we moved to the back of the empty lot. We weren’t born yesterday.

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One Response to Always a flight risk

  1. Diane Sanderbeck

    Hi Marce & Jack,
    Long time reader, seldom commenter, wanted to mention a place in Ireland I fell in love with. Valentia Island is visited by ferry from the mainland. It’s just beautiful. Good for a “drive-by” if you’re in the area. Also Kerry, Ireland is a cute town. Stop in Derry’s Purties and say hello to Derry Fleming. His son, Tadgh Fleming, makes such fun videos of the whole family. Really kept me laughing during the pandemic. All the best to you both.
    Diane Sanderbeck

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