Friday, 12 December 2014

Northside Of The Sheeps Head Peninsula.


Thought I would show you some pictures of the landscape here where we live on the Sheeps Head Peninsula in Ireland.  We often go for walks on the beaches belonging to Bantry Bay.  It's a beautiful and isolated place.  I think there are only about 500 people on the whole of the peninsula.  On the other side of the peninsula there is Dunmanus Bay.

My mother's brother was in the British Navy during the Second World War.  He worked on the mine sweepers clearing the German mines surrounding neutral Ireland.  Ironically my father was growing up just a stones throw on my grandparents farm.  In 1958 my father married my mother who's brother was mine sweeping Bantry Bay during the war.  Isn't it a small world?
A pebbly sandy beach on our side of the peninsula.  We often go for a walk there and look at what the sea washed up.  There's always lots of glass that's been honed and shaped by the sea.  Perhaps one day I will meet a mermaid?

I went for a six mile hike today.  I woke up in the night and it was amazing not to hear the wind roaring outside and it wasn't raining.  So I put on two pairs of socks and trek suit bottoms and put on my sleeveless jacket with all the pockets.  I didn't put my anorak on though before we set off.  I wouldn't have felt the benefit, would I?

Why did old people use to say that to you?  Or why did your mum say:

"What's that on your face?"

Then she would spit on a paper handkerchief that had turned into a cross between sandpaper and and a Brillo pad nay road sweeper.  Which she would then to proceed to rub your cheek like an industrial sander.  Whilst at the same time having a conversation with one of the neighbours - happy days!

 An old ruined farmstead dwelling.  It had two rooms and was probably thatched.  Now nature is slowly retrieving the stones and soon the bracken will encroach and cover it for ever.
 Looking across Bantry Bay to the Beara Peninsula.




 One of the many yellow oak finger posts along the Sheeps Head Way.  It's very isolated but there are some stunning views of Bantry Bay and Dunmanus Bay.


An old overgrown lake.  Years ago my ancestors dug peat ("turf") from here and carried it back down to the farm in baskets tied to donkeys.  You can see Dunmanus Bay in the distance.  

It was a good walk and my legs ached a bit.  I will post a blog of another one of my walks some time.  Are you going for a walk this weekend or over Christmas?  




27 comments:

  1. Loved seeing the pics of the land around you. Ireland is so beautiful. Can't remember if I told you M's mum's family come from Cork? I've been twice (we got engaged in the village she grew up in) and love it. Good luck with the mermaid..... :o)

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  2. Where about in Cork does M's mum come from CT? I am glad you liked the pictures - thanks!

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  3. So beautiful! You are a lucky person to have all that on your doorstep. You are also very fortunate to live in the place that is steeped in the history of your family.
    We have often thought about a smallholding in Ireland. We hope to come over next year.
    Would like to get my hands on some sea glass.

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  4. Hi Irene. Yes it is beautiful scenery. It's a great place for getting away from it all. Especially if you like walking or just touring around. A lot of property is a lot cheaper than England's inflated prices. Daft.ie is a good place to look for property.

    You can look up sea glass on the Internet. There's lots of ideas of how to make jewellery... Thanks for your comment.

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  5. Flippin heck Dave we live in sunny West Yorkshire but have spent many great holidays on the Sheeps Head, my son first started visiting when he was a year old. We usually stayed at Aahkista. Small world!! We love it there and must revisit it really is beautiful.
    Twiggy

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  6. Replies
    1. Yes it is stunning Sol. Have you ever visited Ireland? Thanks!

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  7. What a small world, Twiggy. Yes I know Ahakista with it's two pubs: Arundels and the Tin Pub. We live on the other side of the peninsula. It is very beautiful.

    I use to love visiting Hebden Bridge and Haworth, Fountains Abbey and York. We had many a great weeks holiday on the North Bay at Scarborough. Thanks!

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  8. We had considered Cork when we were planning on moving back to Ireland but were shown this cottage first , we didn't look any further although we had 18 properties lined up to view. We don't know Cork really a couple of trips to catch ferries to Spain and back and once to collect some chickens, would love to find time to spend a week or so down there it looks lovely.

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    1. Hi Anne. I think Cork and Kerry have some of the best coastal scenery in Ireland. If you like walking or just touring around its worth visiting.

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    2. I think it depends on where you live Dave, we don't think the coastline along Mayo and Sligo can be beaten and of course Sligo can boast world renowned surfing beaches.

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    3. I have been and seen the Galway coast line and Clare is spectacular and got some world renowned surfing beaches too. Never been to Sligo. Believe Donegal is also very good!

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  9. It was nice to share your part of the world. I used to go on footpath walks in the UK, but here we don't because we do enough walking as we work on the farm. But maybe one day I shall have the time to take up footpath walking again...... I used to love the sense of exploration it gave me, and a sense of achievement when I finally fetched up where I had started from.

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    1. Are there walks near you Vera? I love walking, but not on my own. You see so much more than you do from a car. I like the sense of achievement after a good walk. It's similar to digging over the veg plot. You are really tired but you did it.

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  10. Nothing I enjoyed more than a walk along the tide-line and seeing what the tide had brought in, amazing what turns up.

    A lot of your sea glass, lumps of coal, driftwood, remnants of fishermens nets, fish boxes, as well as plastic bottles by the thousand, kelp and bladder wrack by the ton. Also washed up I've seen several dead sheep and a dead porpoise.

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    1. Yes I love beach combing, Cumbrian. It's a great source for free fire wood and rope. Especially the day after a good storm. You also notice all the plastic and rubbish from our throw a way world. Thanks!

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    2. Beach combing is also a good source for crafting material Dave, including the driftwood.
      I love coastal and forest walks, not so good with the hill walking these days. The sea is all freedom and impending excitement, the woods are enfolding and quiet, full of secrets and watching.

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    3. There are people who who make and sell driftwood furniture, Irene. The Irish Government recently spent 10 Million on Wild Atlantic Way signs. Tourism is a growing industry in Ireland. What kind of small holding (how many acres) are you looking for Irene?

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    4. There are one and a half acres here, plus the garden. Wouldn't want any more than that, can be very reasonably self sufficient with that or even less.
      Driftwood is fab, would really like a driftwood kitchen.
      I am sure that tourism must be helping the economy, both in general and for individuals.

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    5. Hi Irene. A driftwood kitchen sounds different. Never seen one. I watched a television programme recently and they had kitchen cupboards made with old corrugated iron sheeting fronts.

      I think tourism does help the economy. There could be a lot more jobs created looking after and creating new walk ways and renovating derelict properties for bunk houses and cheap rural housing. Thanks!

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  11. Did a walk this morning, just to the Post Office, or the little cabin that pretends to be a PO in the local Spar shop. Bloody cold wind.

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    1. Hi Cumbrian. A nice saunter along the coast. Sounds good. A lot of the pubs and post offices are closing down in rural Ireland. Wetherspoons is opening pubs in Dublin and Cork city. Two seventy five for a pint of bitter. Think they are starting a revolution. Thanks!

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  12. I love this. What memories, the hankie and the standing there while you are nearly knocked to the ground with the vigorous rubbing. Priceless piece even if you had written nothing else Dave. Love it.

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  13. Thanks Rachel. "Stop bloody swearing" was another one. The classic one was:

    "If you break your legs, don't come running to me."

    God bless our dear mothers. They were great weren't they?

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