Thursday, October 9, 2014

Recapturing a Wild Ride



Remember the children’s story, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride? The tale once recreated for a Disneyland ride lives again in the midst of our family’s visit to ancestral homelands in Ireland.

The only thing my husband—our intrepid driver—could say about the experience was that it made him profoundly regret not having purchased that GoPro camera to mount on the dashboard of our rental car.
The scene he wanted to capture was the ride up the “mountain” Tountinna on the one-lane back roads leading to the townland where our Tully and Flannery ancestors once lived in the north County Tipperary civil parish of Templeachally.

I’ve already mentioned our trip up Tountinna. Following our gracious guide Anne, our host at the bed and breakfast where we stayed in County Tipperary, my husband and my daughter had devised an alternate approximation of the GoPro experience by selecting the limited video option on our PowerShot camera. While it in no way replicates the white-knuckle experience of being a first-time passenger on the way up the mountain, it does give you an idea of the thick undergrowth stretching out into the road, ready to grab unsuspecting wayward tires at any moment.

Now that we are back home in Cork, we wanted to share the experience with you. Despite an electrical storm which apparently knocked out Internet service in our hotel for the last twenty four hours, we hope to be able to post this video demonstration below—hoping also in enough collective brain power to overcome novice experiences in posting video clips. While you are still deeply asleep in the midst of the night, we will be wrestling with this challenge over breakfast at a favorite coffee shop (Serendipity) which, we hope, still has their wifi service intact. If there is a video successfully included at the bottom of this post, you will know we have attained our goal.

As an addendum to that weekend jaunt up Tountinna, my husband’s two sisters arrived safely from the states, and after a day to catch up on their sleep, they joined us for a second drive up to Ballina and Killaloe. We stopped by the bed and breakfast to introduce Anne to our family as if we were long lost friends, then headed back up the mountain, hoping to race before the incoming rainstorm.

“Do stop by the schoolhouse and see if Jack is in,” Anne reminded us, which we did, adding yet another delightful visit with a current resident of the area our family once—over a century ago—called home. That, however, is another story to share, which I’ll gladly do, once the Internet is back up and running and allowing me to regain my connections with the world. 

video

12 comments:

  1. Yeah, it's pretty tight through there, but I enjoyed the ride just the same.

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    1. I keep thinking the video doesn't quite do the experience justice. Yeah, tight squeeze. But beautiful.

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  2. Looks like a grand time! I can't help thinking it's good the car in front wasn't trying to go in the other direction though...

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    1. Oh, Ellie, we did run across those cars. We've since been told the cars would simply drive off the road onto the hillsides. Glad we didn't have to try that one!

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  3. They call *that* a road????

    Smiles. Hey, it was probably a lot like that for your ancestors - minus the cars of course.

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    1. Can you believe it?! And we didn't even get to show you the part of the road where it was partially washed out...

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  4. Yes, I remember roads like that. They aren't too bad until you meet a car coming from the other direction!

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    1. I keep thinking ruefully about how much I loved finding lanes like this in the States. The experience has certainly been de-romanticized for me. Just a little more width in those roads would suit me just fine.

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  5. Up here we call that a two track road, almost a relief when you come to an opening where two cars can meet! Thanks for the ride I enjoyed it very much! It is so green there, maybe you will see some leaves turning before you head home:)

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    1. We've seen lots of reds and yellows, and a few trees without any leaves, already. It's interesting to consider how temperate it is, since we are situated so far to the north. There is still quite a bit of greenery, though, similar to back home.

      Yes, we've seen plenty of those two track roads. Glad we learned the etiquette of how to conduct ourselves in those rare but awkward driving situations.

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  6. Thanks for the ride, Jacqi. I love the over-arching trees! I guess it might have been easier driving on the left when there is a "path" for one car -- except when a car's coming from the other direction. What a trip you are having!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the ride, Nancy. It was quite the experience, live. Though my husband is a great driver, those encounters were somewhat too close for comfort. But we're glad we had the opportunity to see those places. Couldn't have done it any other way.

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