Post 4. Part 2.
I recall travelling along this road as a teenager in the back of a white van in the 1980’s as an ex-player of the mythical ‘Douggie’ or Douglas Boys under 14’s football team on our way to yet another thrashing at the hands of Ayre Utd or Ramsey Youth Centre.
Sign: A18 Ramsey. Seven and a half miles. B10 Kirk Michael. seven and a half miles.
Snaefell mountain now looms on the horizon. I’m thinking back to my childhood when ‘Auntie’ Mollie would take me and my sister to the top of the mountain with her dog Jamal.
I can see the masts on top of the mountain…
Sign: Tram crossing one hundred and fifty metres ahead.
Sign: Sulby reservoir one and a half miles.
Sign: Tholt Y Will Glen two miles.
Under the footbridge and onto the A14 around the perimeter of Snaefell mountain.
Cattle Grid. Helicopter landing point.
Starting to rain.
We are moving on down towards Tholt Y Will now…
Mum: ‘Where do I drop you off?’
Me: ‘I think it’s a bit further along the road, there was definately some room to park a car.’
5 minutes later…
I watch as the car drives off. Mother has gone to a nearby village to get herself a newspaper and something to eat.
I’m confronted by a fast flowing river separating me from the foot of the mountain. I’m sure that it was a lot shallower the last time I was here.
I’ve spent ten minutes now trying to find a suitable crossing point without any success. There’s only one thing for it…
I’ve just walked through the river complete with shoes and socks on. Nothing quite compares to the feeling of soaked squelching feet.
I’m beginning to climb the lower section of Snaefell Mountain.
The rain is persistant now as I grapple with branches and heather.
5 minutes later…
My breathing has already (alarmingly) become somewhat laboured.
I’ve stopped for a rest temporarily and am looking down towards the road.
I hope I’ve come to the right bloody place. I think I’ll walk along the side of the stone wall.