We had a driving day ahead of us when we got up from our second and last night at the Sandhouse hotel in Rossnowlagh. So we prepared ourselves as best as we could: we had a massive breakfast in the veranda, overlooking the waves of the ocean. Admittedly the hotel is just by the beach and there is no other view available than the blue of the waves but this is beside the point. We sat down, marveling at the view and laughing at the family sitting at the table next to us who made a point of ordering every single item on the menu.
The route for the day was simple: we just needed to get to Galway. We packed our bags and fought our way against the wind to the car. We drove for less than half an hour on the N15 in direction of Sligo when we saw a brown sign that was mentioning a waterfall. That’s when we thought ‘Hey, why not, this could be interesting’ and took the long and painful lane. We had no idea where this was going. We drove for what felt like ages on it, without a single sign around us. Even Percy, the car frog, was starting to lose his legendary sense of optimism. Then the rain came, violent and thick and we thought our little trip to the mysterious waterfall would end up in a terrible experience. But then, without warning the rain stopped exactly as it had started. This is the way in Ireland. The rain comes and goes.
We stopped by a little tea shop, Glencar TeaSHED, in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere. We had a pot of rose tea. Poops tried to resist the yummy looking cakes and failed horribly. If you happen to be travelling in this area, do make sure you plan a tea break in there: the choice of delicious teas and pastries only is worth the trip! Finally, we asked for direction. The waiter raised an inquisitive eyebrow. ‘The waterfall’, he said ‘yes, it’s one minute at the back of the shop’. He wasn’t lying! It’s sort of really hard to miss.
We stood watching the waterfall for long minutes, thinking of the magical world we are creating in Phaedrus and how this landscape could inspire the next chapter of the story. It turns out the waterfall has inspired many, including Yeats who mentioned it in one of his poem, the Stolen Child.
Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star, […]
The rest of the day drive turned just as magnificent as the waterfall. We drove followed the N59 through the bogs and picked the first small roads that would allow us to drive through. On one side the water, from the ocean, from a river, from a lake, it varied, on the other side the green of the landscape like a giant carpet covered in sheep, horses and cows: what not to love about Ireland?
It was already late when we reached Galway and fought our way through the rush hour traffic to find our hotel. We stayed at the House Hotel in the Latin Quarter. Unfortunately we could stay only one night… but what a wonderful night it was! If you happen to be around, don’t hesitate: book your room and enjoy the quirky atmosphere of the place. Have a look by yourself on their website (don’t trust us to take pictures with our mess in the way!)