It started here ...
Pessimistically, I did not expect anyone to arrive. As I drove the 30 mins drive to get here I must have passed and dodged up to 100 people walking the busy roads accompanying young children wobbling on bicycles, pushing wide strollers and with dogs winding leashes around their legs and ankles.
I wondered why these people prefered the danger, noise and stress of the tarmac on this beautiful sunny warm for October day, instead of the quiet and peace of a woodland.
Here I waited, nobody here, not even for themselves.
I wandered towards the water and found an overgrown footbridge, pushed through it, and a path arrived at this harbour
So we set off
I could not resist another pic of this faded sculpture beside this folly cottage, which to me I am convinced is a goblin on the back of some creature, that is on the back of a fish like figure ... but the couple with me could not see it and I think already thought I was odd.
And then it was off along the magic path
So that was that, I continued to walk alone.
Little cliffs here too
Looking over to spot the little crannog
Its Bridget Foy wondering where I am. I said I would walk back to her, but surprise surprise I met the couple who said they were off for a coffee.
After a wee chat, they headed back out the forest and off over the grass towards the castle turret ... on the double !!!
Bridget phoned again. I had a feeling she was just above me on an upper path. I went up higher ... and there she was. :-)
Back down to the lower Lough side path we continued.
Yes, we are still going the right way. The Oak say so.
Brighid said that they were two RTE presenters ... no camera people about.
Then we came to my own main mission of today, to this place ...
... but this tree
This is a Sequoiadendron giganteum Redwood which are actually quite rare away from their native California home, and once Chile home too but made extinct by loggers there. Most of these trees are only found in the Sierra Nevada in California and for some reason very few have lived when planted elsewhere,
These are the trees John Muir fought to preserve from loggers that eventually founded the Sierra Club which later spawned Friends Of The Earth, Greenpeace and the Green Party.
In California these trees are 3000 to 4000 years old, This 'Big Tree', which is genuinely another name for them I have learned, must be several hundred years old. So this is a very very special place to visit.
I find it a bit confusing as the Sequoia sempervirens, the Coastal Redwoods, are quite common around Ireland and there are some of those around Lough Meelagh too , but on the opposite side of the lough to where we were.
So yes it is a 'Big Tree', and when a human is near it, like Bridget here, you can see it is.
I wanted to get a decent pic of the legendary Orchard Island and the little Crannog Island in One ... and I did :-) ... check these out
And then the sun was about to set
Even the old moneybox has been crafted into the new wall :-)
The sun has now truly set
PS ... since I wrote this we have visited Lassiar's Well a few times, and the additional work done since has been quite disturbing. It has now lost most of its evidence of traditions.
I will add links here later when I can ...