He also warned me about a large drainage ditch up ahead, with good reason. It took me ages to find a climbing place where my feet had any purchase, trying to climb six feet of sheer mud using brambles to pull myself up (aged 56 and a quarter).
Some parts of the line were entirely gone, not a trace remaining; others still showed their origins:
There were also several obstacles on the line, including horses, houses and (potential) hearses. The latter diversion was large and clearly not in a good mood, but having got round it, I soon found two intact bridges of the same red-sprayed iron girder style, which showed I was still on track.
I was now deep in rural West Clare, with few people and numerous abandoned and collapsing buildings, some of which you would truly not wish to enter. One section has become part of a forest scheme, which made a change from the bog.
'My journey ended at a place called Ballinacourty, next door to the imposing but desolate Tullabrack windfarm.
Having called for international rescue, I - of course - got put on hold and ended up walking for another 45 minutes before we finally rendezvoused at West Clare Equestrian.
And then home for a sad but effective 'Skype-wake' for an old friend Andrew Langdon, who died suddenly last summer without any of us knowing. We had a drink and a talk and exchanged old pictures of 1980s parties and more recent beer festivals.
No expedition this weekend, as everything got delayed by various events including trying to buy a house (still), trying to get to contract on a job (still) and the departure of our car “Tengele”, which had an accident involving a burst tyre and not being the right way up. It was put to sleep by our car-vet on Thursday. Until next weekend !
8/4/2018 12:35:39 pm
Good afternoon Charles. It has been interesting reading your weekend adventures along the West Clare way. It took them quite some time to sort out the "Greenway" in Mayo but it has been worth it. I trust no-one was hurt in the rolla-coaster Vauxhall! Please give our love to Gifty, Edith and Peter. Best wishes Jo.
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