Thursday, June 01, 2006

Sun & sand at Slea Head

DSC05748  Panorama D
Started the day well with a baked wild salmon breakfast at the B&B, and then started to meander in an anti-clockwise direction along the Slea Head Drive which covers the western end of the Dingle peninsula. It’s a strange combination of stark open space covered in small boulders, looking out to a richer fractal landscape of coastline and jagged terrestrial silhouettes.Bondi & Michael @ Clogher Head Bondi @ Clogher Head
cairn on Clogher Head | Blasket Is
20060601 Dingle - Slea Head-001I stopped briefly in Baile an Fheirtéaraigh to look in the museum cafe. I got myself a local ordnance map so that I wouldn't be (as) lost again in the winding unsignposted roads, and a couple of volumes of books written by one-time inhabitants of the Blasket Islands. The community there had been unchanged for centuries until they were "evacuated" after WWII. I got Tomás O'Crohan's "The Islandman" for myself, and Peig Sayers' "An Old Woman's Reflections" for my friend Shirley in Australia, a devotee of her own Irish heritage.

A few miles further along the road I paid a call on the Louis Mulcahy Pottery, and then pulled over to clamber over Clogher Head, taking in its superb territorial views to the north-east, and over Wine Strand beach. At Dunquin, I pulled in to check out the Blasket Visitor/Heritage Centre. It was getting to be quite hot (25 degrees at least) and the young lady near the door wasn't going to let Bondi in to sit by the front door: "No reason, just policy." We left.

Com Dhineol Bondi @ Com DhineolDSC05790 Slea Head - Com Dhineol

I was cheered up by discovering the beach at Com Dhineol, where we lazed a couple of hours, shaded by rock walls. I went in for a dip, but the water was too cold for more than a few minutes' worth. I think even that impressed the others on the beach, as only a couple of wet-suited surfers were more than ankle deep in the water.

Mike & Bondi at Com Dhineol Bondi makes friends
The rest of the day was spent in Dingle town talking to a number of locals, including an Irishman who'd lived 37 years in upstate New York and who'd been lucky enough to buy back into the Dingle property market before it boomed. The town has a standing population of around 1900, and is adding 120 new houses this year.

20060601 Dingle - Funghie the dolphin
The brass statue of the dolphin portrays Fungie,a bottlenose dolphin who dropped into Dingle harbour in 1983 and has stayed around since then.

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