The cache location is known as the “Meeting of the Waters”, where all three of Killarney’s Lakes meet, although it might be more appropriately called the 'Parting of the Waters' as the water flowing from the Upper Lake via the Old Weir Bridge divides into two here, flowing leftwards through the ‘back channel’ to the Lower Lake (Lough Leane) or rightwards directly into the Middle Lake (Muckross Lake).
Although it has had recent works carried out on it, the Old Weir Bridge is an ancient bridge. Early origins are unclear, but in the Fisher Print of c.1780 (shown above) the bridge is already depicted as semi-ruined.
For over 200 years a boat trip through the Lakes of Killarney has been regarded as the ‘must do’ trip on any visit to the area, and boats may be seen passing through this area en route to and from the Upper Lake.
Upstream from the cache site, close to the ‘Eagle’s Nest’ mountain, it was common for a small cannon to be fired to create an impressive echo. This practice was discontinued in the nineteenth century after a tourist was killed in what was described at the time as “a most unfortunate incident”!
Returning from the Upper Lake the shooting of the rapids at the Old Weir Bridge was always regarded as an exciting part of the trip, sometimes quite justifiably, as during times of high water the passage was quite hazardous and there have been several tragedies over the years, notably in 1938 when five tourists were drowned after their boat capsized.
In his 1797 book “Sketches of Some of the Southern Counties of Ireland”, George Holmes writes:
“When we arrived within a quarter of a mile of the Old Weir Bridge, we felt ourselves gently urged on by the current; the boatmen drew in their oars, and we committed ourselves to the guidance of the stream; trimming the boat well, and observing our balance, we found ourselves hurried on towards the arch with increased velocity; till, with the torrent, we were swept through the arch and down the fall, with a force that must alarm any person looking at us from the bank”.
Thankfully, since the advent of outboard motors control of the boats in fast water has been greatly improved and the passage is now much safer!
Close to the cache site, the cottage at Dinis was originally built as a hunting lodge by Henry Herbert of the Muckross Estate. It now serves as a Tea Room during the tourist season and is well worth a visit if you have time.
The windows of the lodge are notable for having names etched into the glass, going back many years. Local tradition has it that a newly engaged girl would etch her name into the glass with the diamond ring, partly to mark the occasion but also to make sure that the diamond was genuine!
The cache is easily accessible from the Muckross Lake circuit track, which is a good quality surfaced track open to walkers and cyclists, although cyclists should note that there is a one-way anti-clockwise
system in place – it is forbidden to cycle this track in a clockwise direction.
The full circuit of the lake is 10km, which is a worthwhile activity in itself for cyclists, or walkers with a couple of hours to spare, and can be combined with a visit to Killarney Lakes Series #3 Cache (Rosie's Beach).
For walkers the most convenient option is to use the Dinis car park on the N71 (see additional waypoint) and follow the Muckross Lake track westwards from there.
You will need to leave the surfaced track for the last few hundred metres and follow rough paths instead as you approach the cache.
A cross-country approach to the cache from the South is definitely not recommended!
This cache is suitable for children, however close supervision will be necessary as you approach the cache due to deep water and rocky outcrops.
The hint will be helpful.