Ireland day 0004. Saturday 02 October 2021- Drought
The first thing I noticed when I got up this morning was that it was raining. The second was that although there was plenty of water in the sky, there was none in the tap. A bit of hasty googling revealed that there was a burst in a pipe which seems to supply most of Meath, which isn’t likely to be repaired until tomorrow morning. So to anyone reading this in the UK and fretting about petrol shortages – well, at least you have water.
So, armed with furry teeth and odorous oxters, we set out into the countryside to explore some more of the local attractions – most of which seem to be at least historic in nature, if not neolithic. In fact our first destination was both. The Hill of Tara seems to have featured in human society since around 3500 BC, when the first passage grave (like the one at Newgrange) was built. Over the time it became commandeered for various royal and political purposes – and until about 1000 years ago, the Kings of Ireland were anointed on the top of the hill.
Nowadays, it’s a peaceful place, affording magnificent vistas to the Mourne mountains across the border in Northern Ireland and the Wicklow mountains beyond Dublin to the South. Val and I walked right round the perimeter of the site – a princely 2mi / 3km.
From one hill we headed to another – at Slane. Slane is most well known for its castle where a natural amphitheatre in the ground has offered the ideal venue for concerts by almost every group in the firmament of rock gods – from Bob Dylan to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Today, COVID has put paid to all that so we took a more restrained hike to the top of the Hill, where the atmospheric ruins of a 500 year old abbey and college are slowly crumbling away (you can probably sense the decay in the banner image at the top of this blog). Dust to dust and all that.
Journeying from the sublime to the ridiculous, we dropped into the giant Tesco in Drogheda before heading home, making time of course for a swift pint in Bennett’s on the way. There is still no water tonight so we are doing our washing up in Evian and bathing in asses milk.
Today’s photos (click to enlarge)