Wow, what a day! I got a lift into Dunfanaghy at noon with a couple of American guests. After getting some water and chocolate at Centra, and going to the bathroom at Muckin Muffins, I stopped in to see Eileen at the Green Man for some duck liver pate, olives, and a Dr. Fentiman’s Dandelion and Burdock soda. None of which I got to eat until I returned to Corcreggan Mill.
It’s not a long walk from town to the Horn Head bridge. I kept my flip-flops on until I got over the stone stile and was walking through the cow pasture to the dunes. The grass and sand felt so good on my bare feet.
At the beginning of the walk, the trail is lined with daisies. It looks as if someone actually planted them there. I began to notice snails along the trail. They were spaced out every one to two feet, all the way to the beach. Strange!
There are two trails to the beach, but I didn’t realize this until I was more than halfway along. Instead of taking the sandy path through the dunes, I apparently followed the grassy/daisy filled path that skirted them. This trek was much flatter and there was less climbing up, for which I was grateful. When I got to the gate, I realized that I had to descend a very steep, sandy dune to the beach. I thought I might just slide all the way down, but I managed a more sedate pace.
Once on the beach, I headed straight for the water, of course! The bottoms of my long shorts got wet, as the surf came to meet me. I was looking for a place to eat my pate, and headed for the rock pools at the northern end of the beach. There I met an older gentleman named Willy who was there with his daughter and her husband and two daughters. He offered to show me how to go up to McSwyne’s Gun, the blow-hole, and I eagerly accepted his help.
Instead of going back up the easy way through the dunes, he took me practically straight up the side of one, to the path above. At the top, we both sat down for a rest, while admiring the sea. He showed me his house off in the distance, as well as other landmarks. Then we got up and started along the walk.
He didn’t think walking along the cliff-side was very smart or safe, so we walked across the middle of the sheep pasture instead. I climbed a short hill to look out at the ocean; when I turned around, I realized we’d walked right through the middle of the stone circle I wanted to see.
Willy’s family finally joined us, and we soon came to the blow-hole. I was still barefoot, and the rocks were a bit sharp, so I didn’t go right to it, but his son-in-law took my camera and got a picture of it for me. The day was so beautiful, and the wind wasn’t too high, so we didn’t get to see it blow.
The trek back to the beach was pretty uneventful, except for the vertebral column and sheep skull that Willy’s granddaughter found. Both were packed into their bag to take home. The family headed to their car, and Willy offered me a lift back in his, which I gratefully accepted. I was getting tired!
Willy showed me his home, which has a gorgeous view of Tramore beach. He says in the winter he can see McSwyne’s Gun blowing. What a view! After a cup of tea and another visit with his family, he drove me into Dunfanaghy to get groceries, then dropped me back off at Corcreggan Mill.
All in all, a lovely day and a new friend.