Saturday, December 27, 2008
We are just back from a lovely bracing walk in the freezing cold of a perfect clear sunny winter's day, the like of which occurs so rarely in Ireland of late that it seems "carpe diem " was invented for just such an event!
Four of us - Jan and me, and our oldest son Shayne and his partner Jany who are home from Spain for Christmas - went to Mahon Falls in the Comeragh Mountains, in the heart of County Waterford, and enjoyed the spectacular scenery in all its sparse beauty.
There's a shale path to the actual waterfall from the car park, and there were plenty of family groups and lots of dogs getting some mandatory exercise after the Christmas excesses. The wind was icy and the sky was brilliantly clear with wonderful shadows cast by the low winter sun.
We were all well wrapped up, and felt refreshed and invigorated after the walk. There was an abundance of feelgood factor at actually getting out of the house and doing something active after Christmas spent indoors playing Monopoly and National Geographic's Global Trivia. We don't go to Mahon Falls often enough, it's a breathtakingly beautiful natural landscape on our doorstep, and when we take visitors there and see it through their eyes we appreciate it all over again.
Here are some of the photos of our trip to the falls. This one of Jan, Jany and Shayne shows a somewhat disconcerting leaning to the right!
Hopefully it's just the camera angle, or maybe it's the Magic Road effect...read on!
One of the must-do things on a trip to Mahon Falls is to experience the "Magic Road", which is not presently signposted, as the sign is a very coveted article, probably in far-flung "Irish" bars!
After you enter the boundary gate of the Falls, the road appears to slope downwards. You drive along this stretch of road for a couple of hundred feet and then cut the engine, put the car in neutral gear and wait...the car will start to coast - backwards and apparently uphill! This is a very weird sensation, a bit like being in a carwash and having the sensation of moving when the brushes are whizzing around the car. Everyone has an opinion but some kind of optical illusion with the various horizon lines seems to be the most logical. But then who wants logic when you're having a laugh!
We drove home via Clonmel, Newcastle and Mount Melleray in the Knockmealdowns, but it was dusk by then and we didn't see the Monastery at its best - we'll come back to that another day.
Jany and Shayne - on the rocks!