by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
The Rock-itt : September 2009
open boat journey of 800 nautical miles (920 statute miles, 1,500 km) from Elephant Island to South Georgia. Upon reaching South Georgia, Crean was one of the party of three which undertook the first land crossing of the island, without maps or proper mountaineering equipment, thus beginning a distinguished career as an explorer during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. In other words, this bloke is a superhero and we wanted a pint in the pub he opened with his wife Ellen when his Antarctic exploits finished. We found it, unsurprisingly it's called the South Pole Inn and it's in the centre of Annascaul. I was slightly disappointed that someone hadn't taken the trouble to refrigerate that place out like one of those Vodka Bars the likes of which we have in Sydney, but it is moving to walk in the footsteps of history. The weather was kind to us and our host drove us around the peninsular. I hadn't been in this place for about 15 years but little has changed and its beauty is well worth discovering. Guinness prices are, however, frightening and even in Tom Crean's pub I paid the equivalent of $12 for a pint. We met up with Marion and Jerry, two friends we had met on an Antarctic trip in 2006. They made the trek down to see us and Christy from their home in Dublin and as they say in these parts, we had great craic that night. I had bought the gig tickets months ago so was a little disappointed to find they were right at the back of the hall. I was even more grumpy when we found the extra ticket we had bought a week earlier for our host was a mere five rows from the front! The sound, however, was perfect and I recommend Christy Moore to you wholeheartedly. We are unlikely to see him in Australia because he hates to fly. The second day were in Cork it bucketed down so we were forced to find a local hostelry and the day wandered into a blur before we climbed back on board the Ryanair for the return to Stanstead. Alarmingly, we were ushered straight into the UK upon landing without any passport check so my NSW driving licence was also good enough to get me back into the UK! We spent the next couple of days around St.Albans in Hertfordshire, which gave me time to hook up with some old mates and return to my former "local pub" The Holly Bush in Redbourn. Tom Crean's pub in Annascaul, he died in 1938. Couldn't resist me with Tom Crean's statue across from The South Pole Inn. The Holly Bush, you hav e to go!