Wild Westie Lucinda kept a journal while on a Wild West Irish Tour and has kindly shared with us her experience of a day in the Wild West!
Lucinda O’Quinn Journal Wild West Irish Tours. Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Today was very interesting. We began our day visiting monolithic dolmans and met an archeologist and writer named Michael Roberts. He guided us on a tour through the stones at Carrowmore, describing how the ancient people cleared the lands and used the site for ceremonial purposes. He was kind enough to tell us many myths and legends regarding the formation of Ireland. He spoke of the Knocknerea Mountain and about Queen Maeve the Warrior buried underneath the giant cairn on top of the mountain, while still standing and facing her enemies. He also told the legend of the maid, the woman and the crone. We were able to go inside one of the cairns to see the dolman up close. He told us of the carving underneath, which I tried to get a picture on my camera, not sure if we be able to see them.
I also had the pleasure of meeting Val Robus, a photographer and internet journalist. She was taking pictures of our group and was quite fun to talk to as well. He told me as we rode with him to the Holy Well that they had stopped doing the “first cut” of the grass around the site and in doing so many of the ancient grasses were returning, as well as the midges. Holy Well was great for me- an outdoor church, complete with stations an alter rail and candles. I lit one in remembrance of Dad. It was raining when we arrived and became a good solid rain by the time we left- every time Michael would mention the tears and the weeping that caused the Holy Well to spring up it rained harder.
We left Michael and Val to go to eat. We ate at a place called Molly Fulton’s afterward we returned “home” to our B&B to dry off and change into dry clothes. Once we were ready, we went into Sligo to do some shopping and had the wonderful pleasure of meeting Michael Quirke, the woodcarver. He told wonderful stories as he carved little wooden plaques for each of us. I bought a Cross from him. It has carvings on both sides, he wrote down the descriptions of the carvings on a piece of paper which he signed. I was able to get beautiful photos of the bridge and some cityscapes as well.
Upon Returning J.J. the owner of the B&B took Vickie and I up to the ridge to take pictures of Lough Gill, Knocknarea and the Atlantic Ocean. It was beautiful. J.J. was also kind enough to show us some of the local farms and explained about the local economy. We had a pint together afterward in the village.
I loved how each day was full of so many things to do and learn about. Everyone was so willing to answer any of my questions about everyday stuff, such as the economy, transportation, the grocery store. I was also enthralled with the history and the legends. Everyone was so great!
Time of course has only made the experiences and memories of my time in Ireland a warm place in my soul that I can escape to when the daily grind of life begin to wear thin.
– Lucinda O’Quinn