Monday, 22 September 2014

Leaving Our little world in Eire to come back to civilisation

We left early this morning so we could fit plenty in. We drove to Killarney and then slowly made our way around the Dingle Peninsula. Inch beach above.
Beautiful views of the blanket islands
Much cooler today so no paddling.
Beautiful views from Conor pass and ice cream stop for J and Smudge.
Lovely meal at Adare and gorgeous coffee. I was pleasantly surprised at the availability of soya milk in most caf├ęs and restaurants.













Sunday, 21 September 2014

Back in time


"Arrange your days so that you experience total contentment, Joy and confidence in your every day life with God"

Dallas Willard

I love my life although to some it appears hurried I personally feel I have plenty of free time which is down to the fact I am fortunate to work part time. A blessing I feel was bestowed on me after a few separate periods of distress in my life. Any time of suffering though brings great experience which can be used positively and can also be used to benefit others. God does not promise us an easy life but his strength to get us through.
Lunch at Josie's a few miles from the cottage.

I enjoy having an open house when you don't know who will call or how many will be calling. I love to craft with others and learn from their experIence as much as sharing my own skills but it's nice to go back in time away from everyone else, phone calls and internet.

Time in this stone cottage amongst the mountains and view of the sea and lakes is bliss. Every moment of time has it's purpose. Today we started with heavy rain so I lay and listened to the downpour. We had a simple lunch at Josie's overlooking Glanmore lake. Mediterranean chicken salad a choice that was perfect. I do hate city food piled on yor plate and leaving you feeling exhausted from the eating.

The stillness of the lake with the reflection of the mountain and trees making it look like glass. A feeling of peace and contentment that the rest of the world could not bring. Wandering across our mountain collecting sticks for the fire, not that we need heat but the comforting glow in the evening. The only thing I would need to encourage me to stay here forever would be my stove but happy to make do with the locals home cooking for this short stay.

A close knit community where everyone is laid back but appear the minute you ring the door bell to open up shop so you can purchase your basics. The electric flickers on and off but other than the occasional need to charge the iPad there is no real need as the gas is reliable for cooking and plenty of fuel lying around the mountain between twigs, logs and turf stacked in the store for the fire.

The thunder has just blasted outside and Smudge has insisted on going outside to bark back at it with no fear at all. She seems to be in her element here and although she hasn't the snauzers(lol no internet to check spelling!!)next door to bark at she runs onto the lawn to bark and let the 3 nearby sheep dogs know she is there.

I have just finished reading Annie Moore's adventures. She was the first immigrant to arrive on Ellis Island after leaving Queenstown (now Cobh) when she was only 15yrs with her family. She then, after working in service a short while in New York, travelled to Nebraska. She started her time there in a homestead with even less facilities we have in our stone cottage.

Unfortunately tomorrow it will be time to return to the 21st century but we cannot stay on the mountain forever.


Kenmare

Today we didn't rise too early as we were only going to be in and around Kenmare. This is the perfect holiday for a dog but today things didn't run just as smoothly for Smudge. We went to Reenagross park for a walk before lunch.
We found a beautiful patisserie on the road out of Kenmare heading round the ring off Kerry. A French owner selling some beautiful French pastries so a few purchases made. I chose a chestnut and almond meringue cake and J a very unusual looking Brownie with nuts and chocolate on top.
I bought some gifts in Kenmare and we were home for tea.the weather is so mild I studied outside and J had wandered off. In his absence I discovered Smudge had picked up a tick behind her ear so minor surgery with my tweezers and I managed to get it out whole...yuck! 
J had gone out on the mountain ridge behind but left the gate open so after sometime we went to look as we heard a call in the distance. I didn't take a photo as he had gone to the top and was barely a pin point. However Smudge raced up toward the ridge with me following when I realised there were sheep nearby. I had a mini panic when she started to chase a few sheep as I had visions of the farmer appearing, gun in hand. I managed to get her to stop by telling her we had to find her dad....phew such a relief. However not very easy climbing down a mountain carrying a dog as I was terrified to let go of her as still other sheep nearby.



Ring of Kerry


Well we didn't get the weather the forecaster promised today but a few spits of rain doesn't hold anyone back who lives in Ireland. We drove to Kenmare to start our journey around the Ring of Kerry.
We took Smudge a walk along the promenade in Waterville and I posed for a picture with Charlie Chaplin who seemingly was a regular there.
Below are homes typical of that use to house monks in the earlier years.
The Kerry clings were amazing and another chance for Smudge to have a walk before we rested and I had a cappuccino made with soya of course.
Moving on then toward Valentia Island


We travelled on to the lighthouse on Valentia which is on the base of a Cromwellian fort that can still be seen. We took a tour
The lighthouse didn't appear tall but this was because it was already on a high base and not as wide as the lighthouse keepers house was separate.
Lighthouse keepers house below last lived in in the 1960s even though it became automated in the 1940s the keeper stayed on.
The walkway for us was man made but when there was a light house keeper he approached by boat and had steps carved in the rocks for ease of access.
Home ward bound along Dingle Bay to Killarney and a stop to eat at Muckross.































Wednesday, 17 September 2014

A week in the middle of nowhere

Angela's cottage is as perfect as I thought it would be. Apart from a few homes in neighbouring fields we are about 15 miles from any other life. It's so peaceful and at night no sign of light but the stars above. You would think I had donee nought walking today but decided to walk up to the ridge behind the house this evening before I made supper. Smudge was exhausted so she stayed in the back garden looking at me as if I were mad.
Through the gate which keeps the sheep off the property you could just see the sum going down between the clouds as I looked back when I walked.
You can see the owners home to the left which is down the lane and two gates away which I have to open and close every time we leave or return to the cottage which again is to control where the sheep go.
You can just see the chimney of the cottage from the ridge






Ring of Beara



Today we drove around the remaining part of the Ring of Beara so over the Healy Pass and then on toward Castletownbere to the cable car at Dursy Island.
We didn't take the cable car over to Dursey island as dogs were not allowed.
We left here and went to a small neighbouring beach-Garinish
Another little beach near Allihies.
We stopped for lunch at Eyeries then travelled through Ardgroom to Lauragh.
On the way to Kenmare we stopped at Glenninchaquin Park. Many miles down a track but so worth the journey at the end. We did what was supposed to be a two hour walk up and over the waterfall but we were obviously fitter than most as we made it in 80mins. We were amazed at how Smudge managed as a very steep incline climbing up the mountain for the first 40mins.
From the photo above we walked to the right and up onto the ridge where there was a lake on the other side.we then walked over the top of the waterfall that you can see and down the other side.
Our car is the small speck slightly to the left in front of the building to the left of the photo.
On the way back down.
Photos of the gentle river walk at the bottom.