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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
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 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)


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Bibliography
Ireland's Adventure Bucket List, Great Outdoor Experiences by Helen Fairbairn
aidand an hour ago.
This is an inspiring book. It is a great introduction to the wide range of outdoor activities we have on our door step. We tend to stick to our own sports be that hill walking, rock climbing, cano...

  
Summit Comment
Slievecoiltia: Access Closed During Drought
TommyMc 11 hours ago.
The road up Slievecoiltia, from the entrance opposite the JFK arboretum, is currently closed owing to the risk of fire arising from the current dry spell in the South East. Expect this to continue...

  
Summit Comment
Slieve Elva: Fantastic scenery
Damian120 3 days ago.
A stunning walk going up over Slieve Elva that you can begin and end end at Fanore Beach. Some great locations along the Caher River to stop and relax and watch the water gently flowing downstream...

Track
Suilven
Peter Walker 3 days ago.
I first read about Suilven when I was about 11. It was in some British geographical gazetteer, a stern washed-out pict... walk, Len: 24.0km, Climb: 1029m, Area: Lochinver to Ullapool (Britain) Suilve

  
Summit Comment
Knockannavea: Nice views to be had
csd 4 days ago.
While not very challenging, recent felling means the views along the way and from the summit are pleasant enough. A nice spot for a lunchtime walk.

  
Track
Beinn Ghobhlach
Peter Walker 2 days ago.
Beinn Ghobhlach by evening lightWhen you're told that you can do a walk in the morning if you're quick because your o... walk, Len: 10.9km, Climb: 739m, Area: Beinn Ghobhlach, Loch Maree to Loch Broo

Track
Maumtrasna Plateau via Dirkbeg and Buckaun Spurs
Onzy 4 days ago.
Route to the Mauntrasna plateau using the Dirkbeg spur for ascent and the Buckaun for descent. walk, Len: 10.8km, Climb: 535m, Area: Maumtrasna North-East Top, Partry/Joyce C...

  
Summit Summary
Knocknabro East Top: Drought made difficult ground trek possible
Collaborative entry Last edit by: CaminoPat 6 days ago.
Knocknabro East Top is best climbed as part of a good loop walk, taking in the West and North-East tops of Knocknabro. This summit is best reached firstly via Knocknabro West Top and then onto the...

  
Track
Picos de Europa
peter1 5 days ago.
I can say with certainty three things: the ascent was not 3266m, given the peak is only 2503m; secondly, I will be back walk, Len: 13.9km, Climb: 3266m, Area: Spain, Cantabria ()

Forum: General
Lough Ouler From Tonlagee
tomlug48 4 days ago.
A beautiful July day on the summit of Tonlagee. Gazing down at the beautiful heart shaped Lough Oular.Tom Barragry & the Lugs .

  
Track
Sail Mhor
Peter Walker a week ago.
After a week of blazing sunshine in the Peak District overwhelmingly spent swimming in the pool, lazing by the pool a... walk, Len: 11.3km, Climb: 833m, Area: Sail Mhor, Loch Maree to Loch Broom (Bri

  
Summit Summary
Knocknabro North-East Top: NE Top Revealed
Collaborative entry Last edit by: CaminoPat 6 days ago.
This summit is best reached via Knocknabro West Top. Park at laneway to old farmhouse now in ruin at W15905 83498. Room for 1-2 cars to park. Climb gate at entrance and follow post and wire fence ...


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