Shirley's 2013 Trip travel blog

The entrance to the underground mine

The width of the coal seam

The weather was awful all day with a cold wind & intermittent rain showers. I had to do some laundry & ironing so stayed her this morning,hoping the weather would clear, but it didn’t & unfortunately this cottage isn’t as cosy as the last one. It has heaters in each room but they’re not very efficient.

It wasn’t a day to do anything outside so I drove to Arigna, a little town about 20 km from here where they have underground tours of Ireland’s last working coal mine which closed in 1990. The tour was conducted by an ex-miner who worked underground for 30 years but I think I missed about ½ of his explanation because I was having trouble understanding his very broad Irish accent.

There were only 5 of us on the tour & one of the ladies who was asking most of the questions also had a very broad accent so most of the time I couldn’t understand the question or the answer. I did get enough to know that this was incredibly difficult, dangerous, poorly paid work mostly because the coal seam was only a couple of feet wide so the miners were working in very cramped conditions.

It wasn’t warm underground but at least it was out of the weather & I felt I wasn’t totally wasting my time but the best place was home so I bought a Sunday newspaper & spent the afternoon getting the news from an Irish point of view which is quite interesting.

I think a bowl of soup for dinner & hopefully there’s a decent movie on.

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