Saturday, 22 October 2011

Out and about at Kippure

The Military Road has featured before on this blog, namely as a route used by Yours Truly to get away from it all since the days, long ago, when a Vespa PX125 (bored out to 180 cc) was the means of propulsion.

The road, built by the British military under the guidance of Charles Cornwallis between 1800-1809, is one hell of a feat of engineering.  Parts of it lie over more than four metres of peat bog. 

According to Michael Fewer's "The Wicklow Military Road", the road was - in such places - constructed by first excavating, then  "laying down a bed of timber logs, on top of which layers of stones were compacted, and the surface finished in gravel".   Fewer cites a local sheep farmer who saw the road opened up some years ago to a depth of 4 metres, and observed that its base was filled with tightly packed bundles of rushes.  It has stood the test of time, though. 

The Military Road is still a great way of getting out of the big shmoke, and although the PX has long gone to the great scooter scrapyard in the sky, and Cornwallis' access route is a lot busier than it used to be in the (19)80s, it is not bad for something right on Dublin's doorstep.

The (very arty, I like to think)  pic above shows Kippure, complete with RTE transmitter, which marks the boundary between Dublin and Wicklow. 

A good place to switch off. 

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Anonymous said...

thats all very well mr gm but the question on the minds of many around the globe is WHERE ARE THE DISSAPEARED, berty, seanee ,fingers, biffo etc, there are reports that some of the above are in the custody of the MAGDELANE SISTERS berty is thought to be working in a laundramat in SKIBBEREEN laundering money for fianna failures,if you see or hear of these great figures contact interpol asap clearly dame edna kenny and his henchemen are conducting an inquisition in irl, oooh btw i see dame edna is demanding decisive action from all the eu leaders on this crisis LOL what a hillarious brass necked buffoon only in irl you say CHEERIO- BH

The Gombeen Man said...

Yes, some cheek they have BH... Sure B-B-Bertie will be brought back to advise the other EU countries on how to run their enonomies next.

As for Fianna Failures, they have Sean Gallagher - a business non entity but a "star" of some crappy RTE TV programme - running for them in the presidential race now. Unofficially, of course. And guess what, he's topping the polls.

The great Irish public, eh?

Dakota said...

Oh GM, Ireland is a paragon of virtue. There was no crash, just a slight misunderstanding. Even if there was, (big was there) I have it from reliable sources that the Irish public has learned it's lesson, and has promised never flash the cash again. All those oligarchical 2010 and 2011 cars you observe GM, aren't really there, it's all in your imagination.

Ireland is back at the centre of the known and unknown universe again. They'll even have a real live bouncer from exotic Cavan as their new leader.

Oh and if Military Road was built by an Irish administration what's left of it, would still be tolled.

John said...

I use to walk up as far as Glencree when I was a younger man. I like that poem by Stan O'Brien that is in the German Cemetery there:

Under an Irish sky
There finding berth
In good Irish earth
What I dreamed and planned
bound me to my Fatherland
But War sent me
To sleep in Glencree
Passion and pain
Were my loss my gain:
Pray as you pass

The Gombeen Man said...

Oh Jasus... don't give them ideas D. They might toll it yet ;-)

That is nice John. No-one can say we aren't a cultured lot here on Gombeen Nation.

It's an interesting place, that cemetry. Discovered it myself years ago on said scooter!

Funny enough, used to walk up to the Pine Forest before the scooter days, getting the bus to Rockbrook. That's going back now.

Ian said...

living in melbourne now having moved here with the family in the last exodus in 91, i always missed the proximity of the mountains from our house in crumlin. A bus to the base of them and off you go on the wicklow way as a scout was brilliant! Spent a fair bit of time as a kid at glencree - it was always nice to see the wreaths laid by the german consulate on which date i cant remember. I wanted to do the wicklow way with the aussie wife once but of course the foot and mouth epidemic stopped that - so a drive on the military road was the best i could offer - hope its still there after the rain! Speaking of which wtf is going on about water shortages in Dublin? There was a cryptic article in the irish times referring to a company taking up 80% of kildares water supply - the joys of an IMF intervention - privatise everything - and let the market sort it out. - anyhow great blog - about to head off to work - great pic too! just avoid those pet bog pits when walking up to kippure!


The Gombeen Man said...

Thanks for that Ian. Glad you appreciate my "arty" pic.

Yes, still there but probably a bit bumpier than in 2001 (think that was the F&M period, wasn't it?).

The water shortage was partly caused by Dublin having a water supply system which hasn't changed much since it was put there by the Victorians, as far as I know. A lot of water is lost through leaks underground. See this one from the last crisis: Some informative comments too.

Sure mate, you might miss the Dublin/Wicklow mountains - and I love taking off up there for a spin when it is quiet, and remember when I first ventured up there on the scoot when all was big and new - but you're better off out of the place I think.

And look at all that wilderness you have to explore in Oz... and sunshine too! Stop the lights, I'm getting very envious here ;-)