Day 7 – Monday – The local area

Posted: 25/06/2012 in Holiday
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Fry-up consumed, we set off to explore the local area. A long narrow rough track led down to the beach at Killadoon. We spotted a van parked at the end of the road but he left as soon as we arrived. A big mound of huge pebbles made access to the water’s edge impossible for me, but I scrambled to the top to have a look; and needed help getting back down! We picked up a few nice pebbles as souvenirs.

Dipping into the past

Is it wise to return to a place that really impressed you as a child? When it came to Silver Strand, I was prepared to take that chance. (I’d been there with my parents when I was about 12. We were camping near Louisburgh and drove down to Silver Strand late one night. I remember the whiteness of the sand in the moonlight, and the eeriness.) We set off in search of this magical place. On the way, I saw a sign for White Strand. Had I been mistaken? White? Not Silver? We drove down the narrow track to the car park. It was deserted. The beach itself was a little farther on, but access was blocked by a wide water channel. Only the sheep could reach it. Anyway, this wasn’t the place. We drove on, and soon found a sign for Silver Strand. A few cars in the car park this time. A van parked in the far corner was emitting loud music from the radio. I wanted to tell him to turn it off; he was ruining the ambiance. Just beyond the car park, a tiny bridge crossed the water channel, taking us onto the beach. Yes, that beach! Fine white sand. We walked across the dunes and down to the water’s edge. A couple walking a dog headed back up the beach as we headed down, so we had the whole stretch to ourselves. Wonderful! We took photos, and left footprints.

As we drove back towards the main road, I noticed a ruined cottage on the right. The big stone porch gave it an air of grandeur it wouldn’t otherwise have had. Only the sheep were residing there now. Sad. Westport

Time to have a proper look around Westport. Found a parking spot just down from the main square. Decent craft shop with good-quality hand-knits and heavy cotton granddad shirts alongside the usual tourist tat. Finally found some lovely rings, but they didn’t have both sizes in stock (we wanted matching ones).

We were running short of food supplies so dropped in at the Supervalu. It had a 7-euro meal deal on; we chose the steak diane, potato gratin and apple crumble (with custard). We both fancied a curry for tonight, so bought a jar of Thai green curry sauce and some chicken breasts. That sauce may have been tasty but it nearly blew our heads off! Fortunately, we’d bought a big tub of Onken plain yoghurt and used most of it to cool it to a bearable level.

We caught some of a hurling match between Corcaigh (Cork) and Tiobraid Árann (Tipperary) on TG4 (the Irish language station) this evening. It’s fast-paced and terrifying to watch. The slioter (ball) is like a rock, and the cumán (stick) is often swung at head height!


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