Ireland 2005 Day 9
Today we are going to explore on our own. We want to go to Galway but everyone tells us that we will only get there before we have to come back again especially if we want to be home in time for the classical concert that will end the festival. It is being held at St Mary’s Church this evening at eight.
So we consider Killarney still a long trip but closer than Galway. We could go to Waterford but decide to save that for another time.
By the time we get up, shower and eat it is almost noon. We strike out toward Killarney anyway. We decide to take the long way following the coastline when we can. Our first stop is on the Strand right here in Youghal. It is the closest beach to town, rather on the outskirts of town. It is where the train used to stop. Train service in Youghal dried up in the mid-seventies. Everyone blames that for the decline in tourism.
The tide is out and the beach is wide and wonderful. The sand is very fine. There are a few smooth rocks near the water. There is a lot of seaweed, but it is harmless. Bill decides he has not come this close to the Irish Sea to skip putting his toes in. He sheds his shoes and socks. I agree and follow. We roll up our pants legs and wade into the very shallow water. There is barely any surf and the drop is non-existent. The water is not that cold. I would not swim, but I could if pressed. Donny & Becki join us. We take pictures of each other.
We decide that although we could stay here all day, as the sun is bright and beautiful, we must move on.
We weave our way westward staying as close to the coast as we can get. We wander into a boat launch area clearly for neighborhood fishermen. A farmer on a tractor is pulling a boat shaped trailer into the water. He is getting set to load on a single man boat. It is a lobsterman who has been pulling up pots as the season is over. Bill chats with the fisherman for a few minutes and then we leave this tiny rugged area.
We continue westward. We wander down small Irish one lane roads. We spy a small herd of wonderful looking cattle. They have horns and shaggy fur. A gentleman out for a walk tells us they are his. Their breed is called Highland. They grow the fur in the winter and will shed it in the springtime.
We tarry on. Next we find a deserted cove although there are signs indicating dangerous rocks, so it is not too deserted. On the map it is called Knockadoon Head.
This cove is very rocky with small pockets of sand. There are high rocky cliffs. The rocks are not jagged, but smooth. They are pink with green low growing seaweed. There are numerous tide pools with sea anemone and other life inside them. There are many small snails and barnacle like creatures. It is absolutely wonderful. Getting the car out is a bit tricky but not for Bill. No L sticker for him. An L sticker is what all beginner learners must post on their car windshield while they are still novice drivers. It is a large solid white decal with a big red L in the middle. It is about eight inches square.
Now we are getting hungry and decide to find a suitable pub for lunch. That doesn’t take long. We wander into a village and park the car. The women’s football championship is on. Cork is favored to win. Later I find out that they do. Bill orders the Irish breakfast. B, D & I order sandwiches and of course we all order beer. Murphy’s is the beer of choice for our guys As far as beer goes it really is good. But I like cider best overall.
After lunch we tarry on to Ballycotton. There is a very cool cliff walk adjacent to the beach in this coastal village. The day is just a bit breezy although still sunny and lunch has worked its charm on me. I take a nap in the car while the others explore. Donny comes back after a short walk and joins me. B&B elect to try the cliff walk for awhile.
Suddenly everyone is tired. And we have not gotten near Killarney. We have not even left the south coast of County Cork, but it has been a great day of exploring. We head for home. We arrive in time to freshen up before the concert. Becki is concerned that we will get hungry before the concert is over knowing that the pubs do not serve food later in the evening. So she is very happy at intermission to find that finger sandwiches are served along with the wine.
The concert is very good. There are two choirs and a violin soloist as well as a flute soloist.
Now we go to The Point, Marian’s brother-in-law’s pub. He has invited us to hear some Irish music. We gather in a back room. This pub is a bit newer and the room is more modern. Still there is a fireplace and everything is wooden. As the evening goes on Marian hires the accordion player to play just for us. He has been playing out front where we could not hear him all that well. He is a delight. He plays all sorts of songs. We sing, dance and have a merry time. We pass the hat to give him a tip. He is very sweet. He rides his bike everywhere because his eyes are not good enough for him to drive a car.
After sitting so long in the drafty church Greg is chilled and asks the bartender for something warm. When he gets his drink, it looks so wonderful we all want one. It seems that we have rediscovered the hot toddy. Whiskey, hot water, a slice of lemon with cloves stuck into the rind. Perfect for a chilly evening. Members of the group begin to drift away. We are the last chapter again.
Every evening in Youghal is our favorite until the next one, which becomes our new favorite.