Tucked away in a valley in Ireland
We’ve made our way to Ireland. The Glenade Valley (or the Jealous Valley) of County Leitrim, Ireland to be precise. We’re staying in a cottage in the foothills of a mountain and our closest neighbours are sheep and a few cows who graze in the pastures around the cottage. After months of staying in apartments and hotels, we are absolutely loving being so far removed from other human beings.
Artie starts many of his mornings by chasing sheep off the front lawn and back down the lane way to the gate where they go (according to him) “flat as a pancake” before they slip under the gate back into the field.
I start many of my mornings out on the front lawn looking out over the hills. In the distance, just before the blue-grey of the Atlantic Ocean, you can see a faint outline of Cassiebawn Castle. Cassiebawn is the former summer home of Lord Mountbatten. If you are old enough to remember 1979, you may also remember the waters just off from there as being the site of the tragic bombing that killed Lord Mountbatten (and others) during the “troubles”. It is a strange experience to hold the beauty of that vista, with the ugliness of that act in ones mind at the same time…
Then, I jump over potholes as I take a walk down the almost km long private road that leads up to the cottage. The scenery is idyllic. If our time here has reinforced one thing for me, it is that I am most at peace when I am in the country. There seems to be a direct correlation for me with volume of green and happiness.
We are a 10 minute drive from Glenade Lake (or Lough), where allegedly a lake monster called the Dober-chu once lived. This creature, appears to be a cross between a dog and an otter and was responsible for the death of a woman who was washing her clothes here in the 1700s.
My imagination can get the better of me… I stayed back off the docks when we visited the lake.
If County Leitrim is known for anything, it is known for its walks. We’ve ventured to Eagles Rock a couple of times.
Marcus and Artie made it to the top on one of their trips. It took them about an hour and a half to get up, and an hour to get back down.
The four of us went one day, and took the trail through the sheep field as far as the babbling brook. I tried to take a little video of the brook, but a couple of my hiking companions were arguing too loudly…
There is a lot to love about this part of Ireland. We’ve felt more “at home” here than we have anywhere else in our travels so far. But, I don’t know that we could or ever will get used to the driving here. We’re ok on the “M” roads… our necks and shoulders stiffen as we drive down the “R” roads… With everything else below that – we pretty much stop breathing and pray that we don’t meet any other cars. We’re learning to plan our routes accordingly. Our first trip to Glencar Falls took us via a route that was a little hard on our nerves. But, the view once we got there was (almost) worth it.
The falls has a little looped walk, made up of steps that allows you to walk by the main falls and several little falls as well. There is a magical feel within the space.
We drove about 40 minutes North to the town of Donegal a few days ago, to visit Donegal Castle. (Our first Irish castle). It was the stronghold for the O’Donnell clan between the 5th and 16th centuries. The castle was restored in the 1990’s and was a pleasure to tour. The tiny doorways made an impression on the kids.
Look at the details in that frame – so beautiful.
We’re in Ireland for a few more weeks, and are really enjoying the gentle pace here. Morgan said “I think our family could be happy here for quite a while”. I agree.
About the Author
Professionally, I am an e-learning instructional designer who breaks down the barriers of space and time in learning. Personally, I'm the Mom in the Little-Green Family, and co-planner in our adventures.