Kate Kern Mundie, Croughan Hill, oil on massonite, 8 x 16 inches
From our travel journal written in Ireland in July 1999
(Jim and I were traveling by bicycle up the west coast)
We were in Sligo by about 2:30, so we headed west towards Lough Gill to find a B&B for the night. Since it was so early in the day we thought we might head out along the route toward Lough Gill and Parke's Castle. We had only done twenty miles that morning and were optimistic that we could do more. Our guide book said there was a circular "scenic drive" that would give spectacular high views of the lough so that was our first goal. This is W. B. Yeats country, so we followed the brown signs indicated touring points of interest for Yeats aficionados (just like the book suggested) but we became hopelessly lost. If the scenic drive was the high road above the lough that we found according to the directions, there weren't many views to be seen as the trees and hedges blocked all of that out.
But here we were, panting and hot, out of water and just hoping to find a place to sit down for a minute or two. We thought we should turn back, but our little detour was not on our Michelin map, street signs are something of a luxury item in Ireland seldom to be seen, and the roads were all so twisty through the mountains here that it was anyone's guess which way we should go. While we were puzzling over this, a carload of German tourists pulled up to ask us directions. I found that sort of amusing, but pointed them in the most likely direction. We set out in a direction we thought would take us where we wanted to go and found ourselves having to push our bikes up little narrow roads leading straight up at 45 degree angles. Who would have thought a bicycle could be so damn heavy? By some sort of miracle and the homing beacon attached to Kate's bladder, we stumbled onto the right road back to the B&B. Time for more water! We went down to the little corner shop we had passed on our way in and stocked up, then sat down for a hearty dinner at a very trendy pub up the road. A nice meal and several pints eased our tired frames, so we walked back to our B&B in much improved spirits looking forward to a nice hot shower and some time spent giggling over Irish television.