Mizen Head and The Sheep’s Head Peninsula

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Carry on Wildcamping. That’s what it’s turning into. We’ve managed to avoid campsites so far, the process of driving keeping the batteries topped up, and reasonable availability of fresh water keeps us, we’ll, watered.

Today the laptop ran out of juice, which meant no more working, so the priority became looking for power. Not to be outdone by the need for some exercise.

We headed to Mizen Head, known as the most south-westerly point of Ireland. There’s a light house and signal station, and a visitor centre. Alas, you can’t access either of the former without paying money at the later, which didn’t seem a fair trade. After establishing there was no way of walking on the headland without trespassing, we set off back along the road towards the beach at Barley Cove, only to discover that you can’t access it from this side without trespassing through a holiday complex. But it was still 3 miles so not entirely pointless.

We headed on around the headland and out along the Sheep’s Head peninsular. Windy and narrow, but big enough for us and passing traffic. We stopped for lunch just after Ahakista, admiring the view across the bay. It reminded me of Watchet, on a smaller scale. Whilst I like looking across the sea, I also like being able to see something on the other side. And sea lochs are ideal, especially when the other side has hills or mountains. And sunshine adds a certain sparkle.

We continued on and stopped at Kilcrohane, parking off the main road and near the church. After the mornings abortive walk, it was nice to find well marked trails, The Sheep’s Head Trail in this case. So we set off, around the nearby cove, up over low hills with the higher peaks ahead. Not enough time now to try a ridge walk, we settled for the shorter option. But still 11 miles for the day isn’t too shabby.

On returning to Kilcrohane, we stopped by Eileen’s Bar, to see if a pint would be in order. Fortunately Eileen is very welcoming, and we were set for a bit of laptop charging, beer, rugby and the promise of live music from 7pm. Sorted. Ireland stuffed Romania, which was probably on the cards. Apparently, it’s required for the post match commentary to last longer than the match, not that anyone was listening.

We retrieved the van and parked up outside the pub, then settled in. All I’ll say there was some Guinness and a selection of ales consumed, laptop recharged so I can work when sober, music listened to and a conveniently short walk home. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Now I feel like I’ve had the Irish experience, even if the music was distinctly folk and no fiddly-dee.

Now you’ll have noticed that the landlady was called Eileen. So it wasn’t too strange to find a regular at the bar who looked like he could have once been in Dexy’s Midnight Runners. It was neither too strange to hear him say, good naturedly across the bar, ‘Fuck you Eileen’. Now I thought that when I was 14, ‘Come on Eileen’ was suggestive enough, but how times have obviously changed.




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