The great part about having a van without a time limit is that you can go off the beaten track and explore pretty much anywhere – trail pending.
I woke up with no clue how today would pan out, but with my trusty smart phone in hand, I did a google maps search for ‘landmarks’ in my area. My search brought up a whole wealth of fun and odd things to check out.
First up was a stop at the Proleek Wedge Tomb. Apparently this portal tomb is one of the most photographed tombs in all of Ireland and for good reason – wait until you see it! Fang Face, my caravan for this adventure, and I crossed a little bridge, and as we rolled up the hill, found some suitable parking under some trees. There was nobody insight and the rain probably dampened a lot of spirits because it was absolutely pissing down. Sitting in the car, I looked around to see where this moonlith was hidden. I wasn’t entirely sure where it was, so after putting on my rain pants for this wet weather day, I walked up the hill and found the gate.
After a very short walk… I could see the actual six by one and a half meter Proleek Wedge Tomb. Wow. It was very different than what I’ve seen at Newgrange. This was a bit smaller but very cool that I could right up to it. Then, I walked up the perfectly manucured walking path (this was located on the outskirts of a golf club) to the Portal and it absolutely took my breath away. Perfectly balanced on three giant pointy rocks is this massive teetering rock! That cap is called a dolmen and this style of monolith is mostly found in Britain and France.
Ok, so this thing is big and I have no idea how they got the stone here, so I definitely recommend spending the time to have a good look at this thing to try and figure it out.
I hopped back in the car and just a little drive from the Proleek Wedge Tomb is a special place of history. What’s cool is, the road I took was straddled between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. And then, I arrived to The Hill of Faughart.
The views from the car park were incredible – even though the thick fog – but that’s not why people come here…. Amongst the graves dating back hundreds of years, this historic graveyard is not only the final resting place of kings and clan leaders but also where many come for the healing waters from St Brigid’s Well.
Rumoured as one of the oldest wells in Ireland, it has been claimed to have healing properties and a lot of people believe it, too. If you take the stairs down to the well, on the left hand side is a ladle. Also, there are many trinkets that surround the well and hang on the trees as offerings.
I had an interesting moment as I was leaving the well. As I started to wander back to the van the left side of the body started to tingle and I felt very spooked. The tingling lasted until I reached another gate closer to the main road. I couldn’t bare walking back the way I came into the grave yard because the tingling was so intense. So, instead of weaving though all the tombstones, I found a close gate and got the heck out of there.
I hopped back into the van and headed to another very special place. It was still raining like nobody’s business – like big raindrops – but that didn’t bother me. I began to walk though three very wet fields in the sideways rain to see the Kilnassgart Pillar Stone.
Wow. When I reached the stone, it was within a large circurlar hedge. I felt like I traveled back in time. This place looked and felt special. I felt like I was apart of something special and when I inspected the granite pillar more closely, I could see the incredible carvings it was carved with It was almost like I was in a partial and had traveled back in time.
Ok, as Deepanjan asked on Twitter – how the heck did I get here?
You’ve got a choice of two main airports – Dublin and Belfast – and if you’re looking to explore these off the beaten path sites, you’ll definitely need a car. The way I found these landmarks was by using google maps. I typed in my search bar, landmarks and they popped up on the screen, as you can see here. All three places are relatively close to each other so it’s well worth seeing them all.
So, if you’re near or passing though Dundalk, this is absolutely a doable short adventure. All three locations are well worth having a look and if you’re after some piece, quite and a bit of cool history, that’s all pretty close by, this is where you want to be. And, here’s what it looked like:
An Aussie girl gone walkabout in the great big world!