Full speed; half speed, slow, stop
Waking up to the sound of the sea with the dawn sunshine already warm promising another beautiful, lucky day. We had the early morning beach to ourselves for a run that felt effortless along the long expanse of Inchydoney.
Its hard to beat a well-earned breakfast, with endless tea and newspapers. The final indulgence before departure a “muscle melt” massage from the highly skilled Angela. Heading-off the beach was now alive with surfers, swimmers, buckets and spades.
We travelled deeper into the countryside through Skibereen, Ballydehob and Schull. So much history played out on these rebel county townlands famine graveyeards, Michael Collins, O’Donovan Rossa, flying columns.
Our destination was Mizen Head, a familiar name from weather forecast, two thousand and one millibars rising slowly! Its now a stop-off point on the Wild Atlantic Way where a strong local initiative has created an impressive centre on the legendary Fastnet Rock lighthouse, the Mizen Station and the maritime history. The dials on the ships control read “Full speed, Half speed, Slow, Stop” which was a great metaphor for our time in West Cork.
The pulses quickened crossing the Mizen Bridge, a robust pedestrian walkway over a deep chasm with the Atlantic Ocean crashing underneath. The reward was the views of the endless sea sparkling into the horizon, and you could trace the map of Ireland from the landscape.
We heard the music as we pulled into the picturesque village of Crookhaven. An ensemble band on the pier were playing a funky calypso-inspired beat as people chilled out eating their Sunday lunches outdoors. O’Sullivan’s Bar served us the most southerly pints in Ireland as curtains were drawn and everyone cheered on Galway until the Cats crushed their hopes without remorse.
A final stop-off on Barleycove beach, crossing over the floating pontoon bridge as families left the beach for the day. The last warmth of the summer enticed us in for a swim in the pristine waters. It really wasn’t that bad “once you got down”.
The last stop-over that night was in Heron’s Cove in Goleen and then it was back home, back to full speed.
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