Meanwhile….on the 365 pix project…
My camera lens is FUBARED. At some stage it must have gotten a hard knock. The filter is wedged well and truly on, and there’s something rattling around inside which results in the focus ring jamming every so often. It’s a matter of (a long) time before I can afford a new one but all donations are greatly received in the meantime. 😉
I’m quite a bit behind with the whole 365 project, not because of the camera, but partly due to putting in some work for my Honours Degree (4 years finished….finally), and partly because a close family member wasn’t well over the last few months and I had to do a bit of running around to hospitals, doctors, etc.
With another close family member undergoing hospital treatment at the moment, I thought it was as good a time as any to visit The Holy Cross in Clonmel. I’m not very religious or anything, but I feel that God must be able to hear a prayer or two when it’s said at the top of a hill under a great, big holy cross.
The Holy Year Cross
Situated at the base of the Comeraghs, at the top of ‘Cnoc a Chomortais’, the Holy Year Cross was erected in 1950. Every year, on the August Bank Holiday, locals make the short climb to the top of the hill where mass is said.
I say ‘short climb’, but the truth is that the small space for cars to park at the base of the hill is VERY small, so for anyone who turns up late, then a longer walk is involved…and possibly a visit to A&E, suffering from exhaustion, before you ever make it to the cross.
How to get there
There are two roads up to the small car parking area. The first is to the right of Bernie Mac’s ( or The Emigrant’s Rest), the pub on the Old Bridge. This is the road I chose to take. It’s an extremely steep, narrow road with a good thick carpet of grass growing up the centre of it. The Suzuki Liana jerked all the way to the top in first gear, with the overgrown hedging inflicting more than a few scratches to its previously pristine paintwork. (Actually, the paintwork was full of scratches, but I thought ‘previously pristine paintwork’ sounded good.)
The second road, to the left of Bernie Mac’s (although anyone exiting the pub in the early hours of the morning will swear blind that it’s this road is to the right), is the road we drove down when coming back. It’s slightly wider but incorporates a fine specimen of a hairpin bend over a bridge on the way up….and….also on the way down. (I once reached the bottom of this road to find an oil delivery truck wedged on the corner and the driver attempting to dig his rear end out of the gravel with a shovel, resulting in me having to turn my car around and having to drive back the way I came. So don’t drive up in a truck, whatever you do.)
If you like rhododendrons, then you’ll be in heaven walking up to the cross. They’re everywhere. Great big purple blooms line the stone track all the way from the carpark, almost to the foot of the cross.
The Fairy Path
That’s what we’re calling it anyway. Isn’t it gorgeous? Perfect for young children to explore if you’ve time on your hands.
The girls wanted to take that route but we took the proper trail, and apparently it’s because I’m ‘way too boring’ to do anything else.
The View (…half way up)
It’s worth walking up to the cross for the view alone.
….and some cows and stuff…
….and there’s Bláthny giving me a look that says ‘For crying out loud, would mam ever put that camera away’.
‘Tis thirsty work this climbing…
The Holy Year Cross
….just as a group of foreign cyclists were leaving…
(We could hear them shouting to each other ‘as Gaeilge’.)
…we reached the top!
….and there’s the cross….
… and the altar…
The View (at the top)
Isn’t it fabulous?
There’s Slievenamon (Slíabh na mBán) way over yonder.
And there are walking trails that go off over the Comeraghs. (The cyclists went thataway.)
The next Holy Year Cross walk takes place on the August Bank Holidayweekend. If you fancy walking the Comeraghs before then Peaks Mountaineering Club are leading two walks on Saturday July 6th and Saturday July 7th as part of the Clonmel Junction Festival. Check out details at ‘Discover the Hills‘.
Finishing off with my fave pic of the day.