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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.
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)
Well done to the i.. by maclimber   (Show all posts)
@scannerman, yes, .. by kernowclimber   (Show all posts)


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 15 Next page >>
Summit Comment
Knockowen: October 2016
davsheen 4 days ago.
View of the impressive Glanrastel valley from the side of Knockowen

  
Summit Comment
Cloghernagh: Picture
davsheen 4 days ago.
Cloghernagh Walk Nov 2016

  
Summit Summary
Robber's Pass Hill: Minor heathery lump. Overcivilised and underwhelming.
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 a week ago.
This oddly named hill is more a very minor heathery bump incorporated into the system of tracks laid out by the Wicklow Mountains National Park. It can be reached from any of the western car-parks...

Summit Comment
Cupidstown Hill: Enhance this with a visit to Oughterard
Bunsen7 3 days ago.
Yes, perhaps this is not a very noteworthy hill. Cupidstown and Saggart Hill represent largely forest topped outliers of the Dublin/Wicklow range split from higher summits to the East by the N81. ...

  
Track
Route to Claggan NE Top
Onzy 5 days ago.
walk, Len: 8.0km, Climb: 2m, Area: Claggan Mountain NE Top, North Mayo (Ireland...

  
Track
Near South Cork (Ireland)
sean_debarra 4 days ago.
walk, Len: 0.8km, Climb: 15m, Area: South Cork (Ireland)

Summit Comment
Farbreague: from Arderin
ewen a week ago.
Walked to Farbreague from Arderin. There is a track that some kind soul has marked with sticks and ribbon. When I say track, it is really a worn down trough in the bog.The multicoloured pipe at th...

  
Track
Slievemore Circuit
Onzy 5 days ago.
Route over Slievemore descending over rough grouns to the SE for variety. walk, Len: 8.1km, Climb: 639m, Area: Slievemore, Achill/Corraun (Ireland) Sliev...

  
Summit Comment
Tonelagee: Fore!!!
ewen a week ago.
Did from the Wicklow gap car park following track 2378.This starts immediately opposite the top entrance to the car park next to the main road. 5 days before there had been snow but now the path w...

Summit Comment
Brandon Hill: Grand on Brandon!
MountainBoy a week ago.
Me and my Dad climbed this from the farm track off the Graiguenamanagh-Instioge road on 26/11/16. Right after we got out of the car, we were faced with the dilemma of whether to go straight ahead ...

  
Track
Knockchree
David-Guenot 2 weeks ago.
An easy one to bag, but a gate/fence to cross at the top and some cows in the field (hopefully no bull), so it may be ... walk, Len: 3.6km, Climb: 127m, Area: Knockchree, Mourne Mountains (Ireland) K

  
Summit Comment
Croaghmoyle: Easy walk up to great views
Fergal Meath a week ago.
Low lying cloud/mist/fog discouraged me from putting the effort into going up Nephin today. On the way home I parked at the start of the Croaghmoyle service road and followed it past a wind turbin...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 15 Next page >>