Garnish, Dursey, Allihies
Day five of our holiday involved a lot of driving around the Beara peninsula. I'll start by providing a map of the peninsula. I realised that my blog posts were all about what I was up to in Castletownbere, yet some people might not know where that is! I plucked this map from the internet, so no guarantees that it's perfectly accurate.
On our drive, myself, Nick and his mum Jackie explored the areas of Garnish, Dursey and Allihies. The views were spectacular! We first came to Garnish, which had lovely beaches and beautiful views of the ocean. The water was much clearer than I expected. On a warmer day I would have jumped right in. You could see Allihies across the way and the fields all around were vast and very green.
Bonnie was DELIGHTED to have a moment of frolicking on the beach.
Feel free to click on the pictures if you want to take a closer look.
We then hopped back in the car and made our way to Dursey. Dursey wasn't too far at all. Dursey also has Dursey Island. Explorers can get on a cable car that will carry you over the sea to the island. Personally, I thought the cable car looked a little sketchy, but I was reassured by Jackie that is was well maintained and looked after. With Bonnie in tow, Nick and I watched as the cable car crossed over the small channel to Dursey Island. The wind was whipping around my flyaways, but it was worth it! Watching the ancient-looking cable car actually make it to the island was neat to see. There was loads of cars packed into the area, so it seems to be a popular spot. Perhaps later in the week I will give it a try!
Also, somewhere along the way during our trip, we passed by the Site of Last Light Ceremony. Apparently, this is where the last possible visible light of the 20th century could be seen in Europe on New Years Eve, 1999.
More information about Dursey Island can be found here. Apparently it's a wonderful place for bird watching and for seeing an occasional whale or dolphin.
Following Dursey, we made our way to Allihies. I have actually been to Allihies before, but it was nice to be explore it way more than I did the last time. At some point on our journey we passed by peacock who wouldn't show us his feathers. Seeing a peacock out here definitely surprised me!
The tiny town of Allihies has a much smaller feel than Castletownbere, but it's still just as colourful! Allihies also has its own beach and plenty to explore. We stopped at the pub O'Niell's for a drink while sitting outside with Bonnie. A bit of rain rolled in, but rolled away just as quickly.
After drinks, we decided to go for a walk/mini hike. Jackie led us to an area that used to be an old copper mine. I was immediately interested. Looking across the landscape, you could see the scattered remains of old structures.
On the Copper Mine Trail was something called the Cornish Village. Located on private property, you can find the remains of a small village. The old structures are now obviously abandoned, and have a bit of a mysterious vibe to them. Apparently, they were inhabited by people who worked at the copper mine long ago. The large preserved engine house on the trail can be viewed from all around, but you are not able to go exploring inside. There are numerous mine shafts all around it can be dangerous if you stroll into the wrong spot.
The views from this walk were unbelievable. You could see the entire village down below in all its glory. You could see out to the ocean as well. The sea was dotted with craggy islands here and there.
Overall, I would recommend any visitors to the area to take the time to stroll up the Allihies Copper Mine Trail. You could barely call it a hike and it was totally worth the exercise.
After our walk, we finally made our way back to Castletownbere, stopping once to let me snap some pictures of the ocean view.
Each bend of the country road back to the house brought beautiful ocean views. I love the adventure of the back country roads, and all the exploring was such fun. There's something so special and remarkable about being surrounded by the greenery and nature.
Stay tuned for more from the Bear Peninsula!