Ireland Travel, Part 3 : Ancient Stone Circles
Midlife Adventures in Ireland | Traveling My Way
Ancient Stone Circles
I decided the best way to be a part of mystical Ireland was to seek out stone circles. I would Google them wherever we were, get the coordinates, put them in our navigation system and head out in search of these ancient sites. Harder than it seems because one, you’re on the cart path roads again and two, the stones are unceremoniously situated in a farm field in the middle of nowhere. We follow the directions to what seems like a farm. Parking is marked which indicates to us we must be at the right place. Stepping up to the doorstep, I ring the bell. A short while later a nice woman answers. I tell her we are trying to find the stone circle and ask if we are in fact at the right place. The what, she asks. The stone circle. No, she shakes her head. I knew it was too good to be true, putting coordinates in a map and expecting to land at a stone circle. She says wait, say it again. Stone Circle. Oh, the rocks she says, yes, they are here. My husband is sick inside, but I can show you. She smiles and observes we don’t have our Wellies. I have waterproof shoes on I say. She kindly takes us around the sheep pasture to the next field. Just up to the next field she says and through the gate. Off we go stepping in sheep poo along the way. There they are in the middle of a field on a hill surrounded with sheep leaning against them for support and to scratch backsides I suppose. Who knows, maybe they felt something there too having worn mud circles walking around each stone. The sheep scatter as we approach and stand there staring at us not moving. I feel the energy of the stones, meditate and open to what wisdom comes to me. Feeling a slight breeze, warm sun on my face, smelling fresh grass and hearing total silence a deep peace envelopes me. It is the gift of Ireland. Getting ready to leave this beautiful peaceful place we both give each other a knowing look. We are all alone. Why not? We pick spots and gratefully relieve ourselves. You never know where you are going to find your next bathroom.
The local Irish don’t seem to be as enamored with the stones as we are. Maybe ancient sites are just too plentiful to be extraordinary to them. I think the whole island pulses with energy. We make our way back to the car where we see more cars parked. A priest heads into the house through the side door. Only then do we realize this poor woman’s husband is that sick. And she was kind enough with a smile no less to show us where to find the rocks. This is Ireland. You will never meet nicer, friendlier, kinder people with a way of turning a situation positive and ending with a smile and a laugh. No bother they say when you thank them for something. And they really mean it like they live to help you and be of service. They love to curse but even that comes out sounding lyrical. No feckin’ way they say. It just sounds like a natural part of the sentence. And boy, do they love to talk to anyone, anytime.
Ireland’s stunning beauty will never change though. The Cliffs of Moher will always take your breath away dropping dramatically to the sea, the wildness of the waves pounding against the rock. The winds blew strong and gusty that first day nearly toppling me needing to hang onto my hat, phone, scarf and each other. It seems we brought hurricane Michael with us and were met with rain and high winds in the following days. We travel south from there along the west coast catching a car ferry across the river on our way to the Dingle Peninsula, one of my favorite spots in Ireland. If I wrote about all of the stunning vistas, you would be reading all day, there are just so many. All of the peninsulas, Dingle, Kerry, Beara, in the southwest and the Hook peninsula in the southeast, the Copper Coast between them stunning in how the mountains and rock formations rise from the sea, green almost to the top, cows and sheep grazing straddling the hillsides divided by miles of stone fences. Then there’s the Connemara in the northwest with an otherworldly feel to its peaks. All breathtaking with a remote, wild ocean feel to them. Actually the drive is called the Wild Atlantic Way. We drive a good part of this stopping at as many lookouts as we could. We stop at a parking lot filled with rocks. We park close to the entrance and walk to the cove.Another small soup can car pulls up and drives right across the rocks. What the heck, we think. Two guys jump out, pop the back hatch, and out hop around 15 little dogs, Jack Russells I think, like a scene from 101 Dalmations. One guy carries a horse whip. A big dog runs up, and he is shooed away with the whip. He doesn’t respond. In no time flat those little dogs surround him. He manages to escape and hightails it down the beach one dog along side him the whole way. He doesn’t look back and keeps on going. Glad there is nothing else to report here.