Monday, 9 April 2007

Off to The Bear Peninsula, Co Cork.

We left Clogheen and headed for this area because it had two campsites open all year. We passed through Clonakilty and Skibbereen, both well-known musical areas and known to me from the Waterboys website and forum We also passed signs for Dunmanway, which I have an inkling featured in Pete McArthy’s book McArthy’s Bar being famous for the New Age settlement there. The added bonus of the site at Adrigole was that it was located behind the Glenbrook pub! After sorting ourselves out we had a few beers and games of pool that evening.

Another rainy day spent reading the following day and down to the pub at night for more beer and more pool!

In the morning we went for a long walk into the hills where I bathed my feet in the icy waters of the waterfall. Too old and fat to caper about totally naked under waterfalls these days…besides it’s still only February!!! We past a ruined church at Kilcaskin where there was a standing stone with Ogham carved down the side. Ogham is an ancient form of writing comprised of short lines cut across a continuous long line superficially resembling a tree branch with twigs; each letter is named after a plant, tree or mineral. I sometimes incorporate Ogham into my designs for handcrafts, jewellery and knitwear along with patterns derived from Celtic and Pictish designs. Unfortunately the stone was very weathered and the Ogham writing not really visible so not worth photographing.

On our last day we went to the other side of the peninsula via “the Healy Pass” an extremely windy mountain pass, built like the Vee road during the time of the famine. This road had an even more impressive shrine!
The other side of the island looking towards Lauragh.

We had purchased a booklet entitled “Antiquities of the Beara Peninsula” and attempted to locate some of these tombs and stone circles. Despite some excellently negotiated tiny winding roads by Peter, we failed to find things from the indications on the booklet which turned out to be quite vague and the distances unrepresentative. We did find this group of tombs and circles at Cashelkeelty, however, and some stunning scenery !

We finally left Beara and headed for Carrigtwohill campsite near the city of Cork.

Hamish developed diahorrea on the way, which is a nightmare in a campervan ! Unfortunately the campsite was very basic… no hot water and no washing machines!! So we bagged up the bedding in bin bags and headed back to Parson’s Green which wasn’t very far away and had industrial sized washing machines and hot showers!! We stopped off at a vets that we passed on the way and got him checked over and picked up a prescription for antibiotics and powders to “dry him up”!

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