“Rough Glen”

Glengarriff, or Gleann Garbh in Celtic, means the “rough glen.”

Let me tell you: I almost got stuck a number of times as I was exploring the countryside. I was driving a little tiny Mazda the size of a blueberry, using a SatNav and a good old fashioned map to get around some of the lesser explored areas of Ireland during my three month stay. I wanted to visit Glengarriff because I heard from a farmer I stayed with that she had a beautiful seaside and that I could get the best woollies from a wooly mill that was only in this little town.

The main roads in this town/countryside were rather narrow, and the bridges were single car. So the right of way went to whomever was at the pass first. I was pretty used to most of the etiquette after staying in the Isle of Man for so many years. Eventually the roads the SatNav was taking me through were becoming even more rural and even more questionable, until I paused and noticed that I was on a bloody goat trail. As a trained Cartographer, I wanted to know who the hell mapped goat trails and entered them into the SatNav as drivable routes for motor vehicles?

Agh! Well, it was getting dark and my blueberry of a vehicle had become lodged in mud and rocks. I knew I couldn’t possibly survive a ride back the way that I came so I pulled out the paper map and tried to find an alternative route. I had to rock and push the Mazda out of the feeding trough I was stuck in. I drove cautiously to the end of the goat path. I then gunned it across a grassy knoll hoping I didn’t hit anything along the way, sink into a bog, or damage the rental car–in order to eventually hop up a ditch onto a country backroad that would eventually take me back into town.

That town, Glengarriff, is home to approximately 140 people. And as I mentioned, is well known for its traditional woolly mill. Their wools are GORGEOUS!

I also made it to the seas side front to capture this image before the sunset. Picked up a few of my favorite wool blankets, hats and gloves, then headed over to the pub where the locals treated me to a lovely evening of stories and a Guinness with my Irish stew. It’s a favorite memory and I loved my time in this warm and welcoming town.

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