Marhofn 133.07 - May 2005

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Around Ireland with a stick

David Purchase

Anyone visiting the south-west of Ireland should not miss Dursey Island (51A), the only island in the British Isles reached by cable car. The walk along the island is splendid, and the Marilyn (Tower Hill) is magnificent, with excellent views of islands near and far, the two Skelligs being very well seen. It is also worth going to the south-west tip of the island for more spectacular scenery. The cable car does not have the pristine cleanliness one finds in the Alps; on my return, the next passengers waiting to travel to the island were a couple of sheep. The mainland terminus of the cable car is a long way from almost everywhere, and you must be there before 10:30 as it stops running between 11:00 and 14:30. As the cable car travels horizontally above Dursey Sound, even purist ethics should not disqualify using it to claim the Marilyn.

On another recent visit to Ireland I climbed Brandon Hill in Kilkenny. It is not as spectacular as Brandon Mountain in Dingle, but it is a fine hill and provided excellent views. As usual I carried my trusty Leki pole (I only take two if I expect difficult ground). On the way down I passed a man with several small children, one of whom asked his dad, 'Is that [stick] to stop him falling over?' 'Yes', was the reply. 'Is he a very old man?' was the next question. As I, aged 60, had walked up from the valley, while they had driven to that point, I felt this just slightly unfair, but I did not hang around to hear dad's second answer.

Partial Irish League

Tony Payne Southampton444
Peter Wilson Northern Ireland187
David Purchase Bristol67
Rob Woodall Peterborough62
Gordon Adshead Wilmslow59

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