Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sunday, Part 2

As you recall from my last post, Andy and I finally set out exploring the Derrynaflan Trail. Our first stop was Derrynaflan Island and the ruins of the small church there. We lingered there quite a while, admiring the views of the bog in all directions and taking photos. Clouds were starting to gather as we shuffled through the dry bog dust back to the car. 
Beware the beast of Ballinure!

Our next stop was the Ballinure Graveyard. As we pulled up we were immediately halted by an enormous green serpent who surveyed us with suspicion and demanded to know our business. When we explained what we were after, to just have a look around and contemplate the quintessential purposes of the Almighty, he reluctantly granted us safe passage to browse among the stones. But I felt his devilish, beguiling eye on us the whole time, and it gave me chills.

Here lie the Taylors...Burp!
Not finding the medieval church that was supposed to be the centerpiece of the cemetery, we soon realized with horror that our monster had slowly over the years devoured it. Not planning to leave unsatisfied, we found a passage into the belly of the beast and there admired the exquisite barrel vaulted chamber and the burial vaults of some unfortunate Taylors. I wonder if they tasted good!!!

As we were backing away from the serpent, apparently his minions had taken note of us and were marching to his rescue with fire in their eyes. They looked meaner than any bad Leroy Brown I’ve ever seen, and we were grateful they could not jump the wall that separated us. There were many of them and they just kept coming.

I wonder if they're as mean as they look.

By now it was raining… because it rains almost every single day in Ireland, even when the sun shines early on. I had a rain jacket and water proof boots but the natives hardly ever bother with these things, so Andy was getting a little wet as we got back in the car.

We thought about calling it a day but then decided to find one more site. This medieval ruin hopping is addictive, I tell you. Don’t attempt it unless you have lots of time and are prepared to get the sniffles and sore muscles at some point. Do you know if there’s a support group for this?

The Yellow Church 
Our final stop was to be Perry’s Well. But, “well”, we couldn’t find it. It was at one time located on “Church Hill” (wherever that was), but legend has it that someone washed sheepskins in it and the next morning it was moved. What? We walked through one field that looked promising but no well in sight.

After driving another quarter mile or so, we spied something very curious in the distance. This is my favorite kind of ruin adventure, where you aren’t expecting anything and then do a double take.

“What was THAT on that hill?!" We had to go a little farther to find a place to park, then we got out (it was still sprinkling but we hardly noticed) and started trudging. We ran into a limestone quarry and, skirting it to avoid a fence, spied what was left of “The Yellow Church” at the top of the hill. It is referred to as such because of some connections to the neighboring town which aren’t clear. There isn’t much known about it. 

We noticed that the land all around it showed signs of settlement, and we later read there were at least three houses once there and two walled enclosures. We also later discovered that “The Yellow Church” is on “Church Hill”, the former sight of Perry’s Well (before the regretable sheepskin incident). The views were stunning, even in the mist.

“My name is Kim and I’m a ‘ruin’ junkie.” “Hello, Kim”. Til next time…

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