This Experience was awarded by Ecotourism Ireland in 2011.
Your host Peter Curtin began life in the original eco-friendly environment of Lisdoonvarna of the 1950's, the exact era in which Dorethy Lang, the imminent American, was photographing the rural people and landscape of County Clare. As is normal for native Irish people, wander/wonder lust takes them to far flung corners of the globe, only to return like the swallows to the place of their birth. I can be described as the original of the species in that my name (tribal ancestors) originates from these parts. The earliest documented evidence dates from 1325 AD. My natural curiosity draws me to meeting interesting people who are fortunate enough to discover and visit this magical place.
So if you are the type of person who likes to get down and dirty as in likes to engage with my good self I will for a modest fee and by prior appointment by email provide you with a history of Lisdoonvarna (Victorian spa town) from its geological creation 300 million years ago, Victorian times, into the modern era. I have an interesting collection of books and photos to peruse, then a walk around the park area and the Victorian spa. It will take about an hour (I don't have a watch).
Perhaps you would like to explore the Burren (for a less modest fee) with my good self, then you are in for a rare treat. I regularly traverse this most magical landscape, a place that has connections to people like King Henry VIII of England, JRR Tolkien, and Brian Boru, High King of Ireland. Not to forget monks like St Colman who brought learning to mainland Europe. Imagine walking in a landscape (described by some as Mordor-like) where evidence of man is all around you from the last ice age 7,000 thousand years ago to my life in the present. As we walk (about 3 hours), I will interpret the landscape, educate you on our culture, there is no Off button. Of course, this adventure begins with an exploratory email, we have to find common interest and you must be more than proficient in English; in other words, the relationship between the host and visitor has to be well established.
My pet is tree planting. So far I have planted 38 varities of trees and bushes numbering 4,000 and ongoing. I am helpful to friends and I encourage them to plant, there is lots of room here for plenty of trees.
My name in our native tongue is Peadar MacCruitin ("humped back person"). This refers to a small tribe who were educators, poets, historians under patronage to the kings of the Burren, Corcomroe and Greater Thomond, the O'Loghlen's, O'Connor's and the O'Brien's – so education and imparting knowledge comes natural to me.
Your contribution will be invested in this neighbourhood. As we say "what comes around goes around".
If you need help with your itinerary, I am available via email to help you.
Long life to you - Slán go foill
signed Peter Curtin
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org at the Roadside Tavern, Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare, Ireland.
Eco tourism: responsible travel (that's you) to natural areas (the Burren) that conserve the environment (that's me, Peter Curtin) and improves the well being of local people (you and I)
The Roadside Tavern and Burren Tolkien Society is member of the Burren Ecotourism Network website.
Here you can read an article published in the Sierra Magazine, written by Laura Read. She went on a walk with Peter Curtin as her guide to explore the Burren, and found it an amazing almost spiritual experience.