Intuitive. That’s John. He’s an empath of sorts. He feels things deeply. John was our “trap and pony” driver. He and his horse “Boots” took 3 of us up the winding 7.5 mile single file road through the Gap of Dunloe.
it’s a slow go. John jumped off the carriage and walked 3 of the miles ..,then Fran, then Mark… less weight meant less strain on this magnificent beast working so hard to navigate the hairpin turns.
it was spiritual. Imagine being a “trap” guide? You have signed on for a 2 hour walk /ride with 3 perfect strangers and you’d better have something to say.
john was not at a loss. He shared about his life in the Black Valley. He shares how in his life time he’s seen the population go from hundreds to 40 people. He’s renovated his grandparents home and found a century old “smokers chimney” in the walls. He suspects it was for smoking fish and chicken. It’s now a closet feature in his daughters room.
he talked about Electricity coming to the black valley in 1976 and the school closed recently due to lack of children. It’s not an easy life-The Black Valley yet it is an easy life.
his daughters (both) are athletes. Competitive athletes. One daughter is living in Chicago playing soccer. She made him proud the last time they spoke. She said “Da, I’m beginning to understand your manner of sarcasm”… he said what do you mean?
“Well someone asked if I spoke German because Ma is German. And I said of course I do… “. So the man asked so your Da must speak German to? And I said, hell no, my father hasn’t spoken to my mother in years…”. John laughed with pride … even if it’s not true… his daughter made people laugh…
he raises horses, sheep and sheep dogs. He and Mark shared stories of dog training and farm life.
john..,.he gave up tourism for 3 years and then his brother called him back into service. He only does two days a week. If you’re lucky enough to have John for a 7 .5 mile pony and trap -then you’re lucky enough