Thursday, July 27, 2017

Gap of Dunloe

You can walk or cycle or drive or take a pony and trap. That's how you cross the Gap of Dunloe, Kerry. The Irish horsemen are full of mischief and stories, wild and unlikely tales, things to please the tourist and stoke up the memory. Fistfuls of banknotes change hand as they grin and take the fare, bargaining with each other and deciding who will go in whatever buggy. Horses are everywhere, some loose, some standing, some resting. Then you're off, cantering and walking, stopping as the horse needs a drink from a stream and of course more banter from your driver. The clattering of the hooves as you turn each corner and climb each gradient. The roads are covered in dung, wild iris grows by the stoney side, holly and myrtle too and the warmth of the mysterious Gulf Stream never seems far away. Somewhere across the greenery hides Ireland's highest mountain, beyond the crags and boulder fields but nobody seems too interested in that today, the road is more important here.

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