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Following the magn.. by simon3   (Show all posts)
I realised earlier.. by maclimber   (Show all posts)
Anyone interested .. by scannerman   (Show all posts)
Is it just me or d.. by Dessie1   (Show all posts)
I thought we might.. by Bleck Cra   (Show all posts)
I am not a represe.. by maclimber   (Show all posts)
A representative o.. by Bleck Cra   (Show all posts)
Having waited all .. by march-fixer   (Show all posts)
Ventry Pier, Co. K.. by kernowclimber   (Show all posts)
kernowclimber
2012-09-10 14:50:31
"Below the mighty ocean seethed" from kernowclimber Expand pics
Below the mighty ocean seethed (Expand pics)
Riders to the Sea 2
Landing on Inis Tuaisceart was challenging, the swell wasn’t large, but the sea sucking greedily at a series of slippery slabs made jumping ashore tricky. A short scramble up the cliffs to a sheep fold and we were on our way to the summit, past the shattered stone walls of settlements, St Brendan’s Oratory and the ghostly ridges of lazy beds. If those mute stones could only speak, what stories they would tell of life in this remotest corner of Europe! Of a woman whose husband, a shepherd, died during a ferocious storm that lasted many days, and she, alone and too weak to lift his bloated, rotting corpse was forced to hack it to pieces and carry it out of their cottage, limb by limb. Uninhabited now, the island harbours a large colony of Storm Petrels and is a breeding ground for Puffin and Manx Shearwater whose malodorous carcasses litter the ground, the remains of a savage summer-feast by gulls that do not leave our shores, but circle nosily in the salt laden air, eyeing all. The island seems to have been upended; a steep grassy slope leads to vertiginous sea cliffs on the NW, the sea so far below, the waves crashing onto the rocks are silent. The words of playwright, J.M. Synge, entered my mind. There was indeed something almost appalling in the loneliness of this place.

Back on the boat we headed for An Blascoad Mór. The stone shells of rustic cottages dotting the hillside drifted into view as we approached. The haunting cadence of Gaelic seemed to be whispered in the very wind, fragments of poems, prose and plaintive songs that tell of the lives of those who doggedly coaxed a living on this island over 3 km from the mainland. On, past An Traigh Bhan, a strand of golden sand bathed by turquoise waters above which lie the stone walled fields once fertilised by seaweed to grow potatoes and oats that kept the famine from these shores, to a small pier. Here pleasure boats now disgorge hordes of curious day-trippers seeking the mystique of this ‘place outside of time’.

Above the old village, 2 tracks on opposite sides of the island circle Tur Comhartha, joining at the saddle below Slievedonagh. The south track has impressive views of the ragged coastline of the mainland and, on the horizon, Skellig Michael bursting through the ocean like a grey spear tip. Atop Slievedonagh the track narrows as it traverses the spine of the island, slopes blushed pink with heather. An Cro Mór now came into view. One last push uphill and the summit was surmounted. Here Europe ends and before lies the mighty Atlantic, restless, relentless. Somewhere over the horizon, the Americas. Atop this peak, the eyes of countless islanders surely stared out across the watery void to dream of new beginnings…

The evening crowned the day as the Blasket Princess rocked gently over cornflower blue waves to Ventry, landscape and seascape bathed in the soft apricot glow of a sinking sun. Thank you, Conor, for organising an impeccably choreographed island odyssey.


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 16 Next page >>
Summit Comment
Inishsirrer: Uninhabited except a few sheep.
magicstep 7 hours ago.
I did kayak to the island in 2014. There is a slipway facing the mainland. Lot's of ruined houses. Walking is decent as the island is flat but in places ground is uneven and overgrown, there are o...

  
Summit Comment
Knockroe: OMG - I forget to check the MV page!
Pepe a day ago.
Decided to make a day out of a Dublin-Waterford drive, despite low-hanging cloud. Knockroe wore a misty white cap as I glanced up from the Sculloge Gap carpark. Planning my attack (so I thought), ...

  
User profile
ewen
ewen a day ago.
Now living furth of Scotland and getting to know the Irish hills. If you come across a Scottish hill Walker with dodgy knees and walking sedately, stop and say hello.

Summit Summary
Bleantasour Mountain: A boggy but short ascent route
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 2 days ago.
Go to the forest entrance at S22452 09704. there is room here for a few cars.Walk down the forest track, crossing a ford and follow the track until you can see open ground.Walk south along the edg...

  
Track
A handy way up two western Monavulaghs.
simon3 2 days ago.
Easy access to the ridge.Improved RouteUsing the hard won experience of others and new forest roads we found a relati... walk, Len: 6.5km, Climb: 263m, Area: Bleantasour Mountain, Comeragh Mountains

  
Summit Summary
Milk Hill: Carry on bagging
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 2 days ago.
Go to the forest entrance at S22452 09704. there is room here for a few cars.Walk down the forest track, crossing a ford and follow the track until you can see open ground.Walk uphill to the summi...

Summit Comment
Seefin: Fine day spoilt by Scramblers
ewen 2 days ago.
Started at the Coillte gate at 068145 where there is parking for 2 cars. I then followed the forest road around until the first turn off to the left. This takes you along to the fire break/path at...

  
Forum: General
Local 97
marymac 4 days ago.
An abstract Artist, Charles Shaw, said "Real happiness consists in not what we actually accomplish, but what we think we accomplish." I moved house. So my Local 100 changed. The new list includes ...

  
Summit Comment
Gortrumnagh: Drive or Walk
sandman 2 days ago.
The gravel track at L6133851903 will bring you up to the second quarry workings allowing you to park at L6213651955 and enter the open hillside via a gate just inside the quarry to the left. No si...

Track
Hacha Grande by following my nose.
jackill 2 days ago.
walk, Len: 11.5km, Climb: 636m, Area: Spain, Canary Islands ()

  
Summit Comment
Derrylahan: Coastal Hill
sandman 2 days ago.
As this hill is located in a field covered in gorse bushes the easiest access is via the adjacent land owner. Parking at L6670259115 i was fortunate to bump in to the farmer whose farm yard is loc...

  
Summit Comment
Ballynew: Coastal Hill
sandman 2 days ago.
Park at L6231659377 opposite a very modern designed house and follow the non tared track and as it turns right go straight up hill thru an old overgrown trail still used by some cattle on there ow...


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