While I am seeing Ireland via fairway, today I had a day off golf and did a spot of touring. I headed off with James and Jenny into the depths of the earth.
We were off on a tour of the Marble Arch Caves just outside of Enniskillen. If you visit Ireland this is a place you have to see.
You realize your insignificance when you hear about the caves being formed over thousands of years and stalactites only growing millimetres in hundreds of years.
Fifty metres below ground level there are rivers and caves that are part of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark.
You wind down the path and enter the caves and wait for a flat bottomed boat to take you down the river .
Just like Charlie at the chocolate factory, I stepped into a boat and headed off down the river accept my river hadn’t seen sunlight for thousands of years and wasn’t made of chocolate.
The place is phenomenal and I continually swivelled my head trying to take in all the various formations. We took a boatie (a selfie in the boat) and were off on our adventure.
French speleologist (cave lover) Martel was the first man to explore these caves in the 1890’s. While locals knew there were caves, the superstitions and belief that goblins and faeries lived down there kept everyone away.
Shannon (our guide) was very informative. I love learning things and I had no idea that it took millennia to form some of the stalactites that are in these caves.
There were few stalagmites as the water washes them away as it rises and falls – being in Ireland I do believe that the caves will continue growing and being shaped by the water which so readily available in this part of the world.
After climbing the steps back to the earth’s crust we stopped for a drink at Customs House in Belcoo before climbing to the Magho Cliffs.
It is a long hike, pretty much straight up and when I got a good pace going I couldn’t stop and marched to the top leaving Jen and James behind.
I came to a steep set of stairs and ran up them incorrectly believing I was just about at the top only to get to the top of the stairs and see the path snake away to the right then left again then vanish somewhere above me.
When I got to the top, my heart was pounding and my breath coming in quickly and when a car pulled I commented that they were smart driving instead of walking up the side of the mountain.
Oh but the view – it was well worth the walk to the top.
Jen and I made it to the top, James on the other hand was stoat watching.
From the viewpoint you look across Lower Lough Erne and far into counties Sligo, Fermanagh and Tyrone. Intense yet stunning views in every direction.
The road from the car park heads off through a tempting forest, that I will have to explore next time I visit Northern Ireland as tomorrow I am back on a fairway.
I went from fifty metres below the earth to three hundred metres above all within a couple of hours – not a bad day at all.