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.