Starting Point: Kilnaboy I Destination: back at the start I Walker: Dave, Musician I Distance: 5km
Starting here- go north for ten minutes you come across the famous house of Father Ted. Go east and there's a magnificent walk up Mullach Mór, - the mountain that looks like a melted squashed cake - go south and you'll reach the quaint village of Corofin. Or, if when coming upon this crossroads you take the path heading west as Dave and I did yesterday there's a really lovely stretch which is, just as its name suggests - Green. And the reason why it is particularly green is because in comparison, the rest of the world around this road is entirely grey. Rocks rocks rocks. Walls made of rocks, ground made of rocks, rocks scattering the path. The Burren in Co. Clare - is a national park of Karst Landscape - which is a sort of natural pavement that stretches as far as the eye can see. The light is particular to this region, so says photographer John. The green road stands out as verdant and lush.
Dave Flynn, Director of the Irish Memory Orchestra, is the other Artistic Associate in glór and him and I were invited to a photoshoot in the Burren to promote the Associate Artists programme. Dave and I did our best standing and posing among the stones as John tried to make us laugh and not feel like eejits standing under the clouds and the spitting rain among the rocks rocks rocks. Walkers in their raingear and backpacks passed us by craning necks, curious as to what we were doing with a guitar. A french couple with their grandchild stopped and requested some 'Irish music'. Dave gracefully obliged, hoods up, wind blowing standing around in a little circle listened to a short little jig. By the time we had finished posing and snapping the sun was coming out and so I asked Dave if he was up for a walk before driving back south to Kerry. A grand stretch it was. Short enough and with a sign for a cup of tea at the end. So we did. Walk with many questions - what has you in Dingle? What has you in Brighton? Playing guitar in rock school. What is it like to be the artist driving a project forward? What it might mean to be an 'artist in residence' - what that looks like. The challenges that you can face. A house with a dog tied up at the gate. A child peeking through front door. Can we get a cup of tea? Yes. A room set up with tea cups and side plates. A tempting concertina. Comparing English and Irish Arts Councils. Pot of tea. Scone. Do you have any butter? Do you have anything gluten free? Bourbon Creams. A suggested donation of €5. Why is it called the Green Road? Because it is. Is that you in the photo? No that's Maureen O Hara and John Wayne. Where are ye from? We're Irish we use miles too. There's a great walk if you stop along the way between Kinvarra and Ballyvaughan. Towards the top of the hill theres a place to stop the car and you get breathtaking views that go all the way out to Galway Bay and you can see the twelve pins. Theres a Chocolate cafe it's a good stop. Don't try their hot chocolate though unless you want it bitter, they make it with pure chocolate. It's disappointing.