I’ve just re-run the Connemara Half Marathon in about 30 minutes – sitting here in my studio apartment in the comfort of my armchair.

For some reason I’ve hitherto ignored the charms of Google Street View. Unfortunately I believe I’ve found yet another way of doing nothing useful. It’s brilliant and only now have I been seduced, though this plug-in has been out there for a little while now.

For those newly arrived from Mars, much of the world’s roadage (new word) has been photographed by cameras mounted on top of cars. The results have been stitched together so that you can click your way along pretty much anywhere a car can go. You can gawk at the buildings to left and right and you won’t ram the car in front stopped at the lights. If you’ve missed a turn you can pull a 180 without getting hooted.street view cameras

So today I conquered the Hell of the West at the head of the Maam Valley – a piece Β of cake that 1.8 mile climb. Whilst in Ireland I repeated a perfect little 12-mile run through the barren landscape of the Dingle Peninsula. I’ve taken a trip back to Dunmanway in West Cork. There’s my late uncle Jimmy’s cottage. He was a level-crossing keeper. The railway line closed in 1961 but you can still easily see where the track ran alongside the river. And, a few yards further on, the site of the cottage where my grandparents brought up 12 children. The building itself, with it’s myriad memories, replaced by a nondescript modern affair.

North portal, Passage Tunnel, Cork

North portal, Passage Tunnel, Cork

The possibilities are endless. I’ve always wanted to ‘do’ Route 66 like every other old hippie, and here’s an opportunity. I can stalk people. Give me your address and I’ll come and stare at your house πŸ™‚

I guess in the future that the technology will move on again and one will be able to drive rather more quickly along the streets and roads; for all its wonders Street View is still a bit clicky-clunky. But it’s an amazing project and proof, if it were needed, that little remains secret in the 21st century.

Anyone else had fun with this?

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