Gap of Dunloe

Asenath Nicholson
Chapter XXI (13) | Start of Chapter

The gap of Dunloe has had so many visitors and so many historians—has given so many echoes, and paid so many guides—that what remains for me is to say that I walked five miles to reach it, and found an old man at the entrance, busied in his field, who insisted on leaving all to accompany me. I told him I preferred the walk alone, that a guide would confuse me. They always hurried on, disgusting me with all sorts of fairy stories, diverting my mind from everything useful, and leaving it in a labyrinth more bewildering than the voice of nature with the eyes for handmaids. "But ye're a stranger, and I would take no pay; ye cannot go alone," &c. I escaped, and entered the wonders. The little lake, the craggy mountain on the right, and the purple one on the left, first opened to view; the richness and beauty of the latter scarcely can have a rival, and most of the peaks on both sides are enveloped in clouds,

"And mid-way leave the storm."

Ireland’s Welome to the Stranger is one of the best accounts of Irish social conditions, customs, quirks and habits that you could wish for. The author, Mrs Asenath Nicholson, was an American widow who travelled extensively in Ireland on the eve of the Great Famine and meticulously observed the Irish peasantry at work and play, as well as noting their living conditions and diet. The book is also available from Kindle.