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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
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 Contract pics
Picture: Below the mighty ocean seethed (Contract 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.
First, five stars .. by zanzibar   (Show all posts)
The area between t.. by Conor74   (Show all posts)
On a different iss.. by maclimber   (Show all posts)
...or Star Wars?To.. by Conor74   (Show all posts)


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 23 Next page >>
Summit Comment
Stockeen Cliff Top: Coastal Hill
sandman a day ago.
Located adjacent to the cliff walk accessible via the Cliffs of Moher Center. Best to enjoy the full walk rather than just summit bagging but for your added enjoyment the earlier in the morning yo...

  
Summit Comment
Lislorkan Top: Coastal Hill
sandman a day ago.
Accessible via the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Center and car park or via other locations on this coastal walk of your choosing. Best to enjoy the full length of this fantastic cliff walk.

  
Summit Comment
Knockardakin: Coastal Hill
sandman a day ago.
Located adjacent to the world renowned Cliffs of Moher,and although this is the hill which the visitor center is built into, the summit is not located in a public area. Access is via a farm gate o...

Track
Inishowen Slieve Snaght from the north.
simon3 5 days ago.
This linear walk route starts from the north and includes the two Arderins and one Vandeleur-Lynam in the area. It sta... walk, Len: 9.3km, Climb: 515m, Area: Slieve Snaght, Inishowen (Ireland) Sliev

  
Summit Comment
Corduff: My wee dander to the summit
Ulsterpooka 3 days ago.
I followed Muschi's and Paddyhilksbagger route. When going to the trig I moved on a few cows before I walked to the trig. After taking a few pics I seen the large brown bull in the field was block...

  
Forum: Suggestions
Clare Coastal Hills
simon3 3 days ago.
We have added 14 Coastal Hills for Clare today. Intriguing names like Stockeen Cliff Top, 185mJust to remind. A Coastal Hill is a hill of at least 50m with a drop from the top or prominence of 20m...

Track
Arona to Parador Hotel via Valle de Ucanca
GSheehy 3 days ago.
Sticking the boots in the bag, when the intention was to go and have a rest.Justifying a walk, that?s predominantly as walk, Len: 30.8km, Climb: 2274m, Area: Spain, Canary Islands ()

  
Track
Cruach Eoghanach
Peter Walker 5 days ago.
Cruach Eoghanach is a handy outing on the days when you get out of the car, feel the force of the wind and rain, look... walk, Len: 10.4km, Climb: 329m, Area: Cruach Eoghanach, S Donegal/W Tyrone (Ir

  
Summit Summary
Slieve Main: Inishowen's second mountain.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 5 days ago.
Parking in a small quarry 3km to the east at point C444 372, cross the smaller top of Damph and then head north, curving around the valley until you cross a fence at C425 380 then begin to ascend ...

Track
Pics de Batoua
David-Guenot a week ago.
walk, Len: 18.3km, Climb: 1672m, Area: France, Occitanie ()

  
Summit Comment
Castlemahon Mountain: My outing to Castlemahon summit.
Ulsterpooka a week ago.
I followed Peter Walkers route and asked permission to walk to the summit mast. The person was very friendly and accommodating. I parked at the last house in what is a four house dwelling lane. Th...

  
Track
Amalfi: Ravello to Minori
Onzy a week ago.
walk, Len: 3.5km, Climb: 12m, Area: Italy, Campania ()


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 23 Next page >>