Megaliths and apple pie

The one thing that I wished for most for our Irish trip was to witness an Atlantic storm rolling in and to see the huge breakers. Imagine then my anguish when Doris came knocking, the moment that we left the West Coast for the Midlands.

We spent the stormy night at Lock Rynn, still alone on the site. We were quite exposed to the wind but thought that better than moving to park under the trees. Vincent stood up well to the wind, rocking a little from time to time but was in no way alarming. I was reminded of the night that we spent at Finstown in Brunhilde when the ferry was cancelled due to wind. She bounced up and down all night, leaving the ground and then crashing back down onto her stays with a BANG. 

So happy that Vincent does not behave like that! All the same, we did not get a lot of sleep and were happy to lie in for a while in the morning until the weather settled.

When we rose it was still raining but only breezy and no longer wild. It was near enough midday when we got away, which had given quite enough time for the many fallen trees along our way to have been cleared from the road.

For the main part the weather was not too bad on our journey, though there was plenty of heavy rain about – we managed to miss most of it.

Mr Snail had struggled to persuade the SatNav system to accept the route that he wanted to use and we had some iffy moments along the way but did manage to find our destination without too much trouble. 

The centre lies off a narrow unclassified approach road

We are at the Loughcrew Megalithic Centre and currently on our third night here. The caravan site has, I think, 17 pitches and is attached to the small complex of thatched cottages that house the Heritage Museum, Cafe, Events hall and toilet facilities around a paved courtyard. There is also a gift shop selling mounted photographs, photographic greetings cards and other small craft items and Hostel accommodation. The walk up to Cairn T begins a short way up the narrow road outside the centre. 

Vincent on the site

The site is largely hard core surface, with some grass for awnings. Electricity is included in the pitch price. No drive over waste point but an outside privy provides an Elsan disposal point. The toilet block is shared with visitors to the centre (and I suspect also with the site’s staff) which is not a terrific situation – there are just two toilet cubicles in the Ladies and only one shower. The same is true for the Gents, I believe. There is a Disabled toilet/shower room. .For once, the showers are not charged as extras. Better still, they are not push-button delivery. The water is very hot and the shower is powerful.

The view can be better than this

On the down side, the Ladies shower cubicle is somewhat cramped. A stool is provided. The cubicle is just about large enough to enable one’s clothes to remain dry (ish).

It is good for once to find facilities that have not been done on the cheap and this block is quite a pleasant place to be, although unheated. Relatively classy by comparison with many of the sites we have visited,

Niall, our host, could not be friendlier or more helpful. 

We had imagined having this site to ourselves as we have become accustomed to but this  was not to be and by bedtime we had two sets of neighbours.  More rigs have arrived today and the last time I looked outside, we are seven at the party. There are children.

It is pleasant to have a cafe on site and to be able to get a coffee and cake – we recommend the delicious deep-filled apple pie. However, the cafe does not open until 11am and does not serve anything suitable for breakfast. They should serve bacon rolls – they would make a killing!

We attempted to visit the cairns on our first afternoon here and got as far as the top of the car park steps before the hail started and sent us scuttling back to the van. We were high enough to see some of the view inbetween the showers. Yesterday, when we tried again, the weather was overall better but was more dull and with poorer distant visibility. I tried some photographs but could have wished for a better day.

Quite a climb – see Vincent back at the site – this from half way back down the hill

It was quite a climb. The views were worth it however, even if not at their best.

The landscape is beautiful with hedges, walls and lush, green fields

The “Hag Stone” – a decorated kerb stone at the Cairn

The cairn was once covered in quartz and must have looked entirely spectacular.

If you fancy a visit, be quick – the Loughcrew Megalithic Centre is currently charging low season rates and offering a third night stay for free if you pay for the first two.

The Remoska has been in action again tonight. I made a Cheese Pudding and will be telling all as soon as I can.

We are moving off again tomorrow – heading Eastward. Won’t be long now before we are back to Winter Base.