2014 – Day Sixteen

Today we set off along the “the Wild Atlantic Way”, a network of
roads that stretches for 2,500 km along Ireland’s west coast
showcasing it as it’s most wild and beautiful.

Our journey today is through the start of it, and we head north
through the Beara peninsula. It starts off with little seaside villages
but quickly turns to a stone moonscape with huge rocky cliffs of
purple granite. It’s quite breathtaking. As is the road….omg it’s tiny.
Narrow at best, windy and narrow at worst, and windy and narrow
with cars coming around blind bends with sheer drops on one side
at its most terrifying. Well, that’s me anyway, Chris just takes it all in
his stride.

Snowy white sheep and the occasional goat dot the landscape.
They’re quite pretty, often with black spotty faces and legs – I have a
theory that they are snowy white as it rains so much (but not so far
for us). I think the rain washes them clean.

We also come across a few hillside village that are a riot of colour.
The uniform nature of housing is retained, terraces in these parts,
but the houses are made unique with colour, the brighter the better.
We see red, orange, coral, hot pink, mint green, bright green, every
shade of purple, you name it and it’s here. But the colours are really
cleverly picked – someone has looked at a colour spectrum and
pulled out the complementary colours, so whilst it looks like a riot of
colour, it’s very pleasing to the eye. Even the houses that aren’t
highly coloured have joined in the party, with a brightly coloured
doors, offsetting trim or windowsills.

Avid whilst I think of it, I don’t know if Ireland has a national flower,
but if it doesn’t, it surely should be the hydrangea. I’ve never seen
such spectacular displays in every colour from white through all the
spectrums of pink to the deepest indigo blues. They grow
everywhere, in people’s gardens, in council nature strips and out in
the wild. And speaking of gardens, they are neat to the point of
compulsion. Chris speculates that the Irish must spend all their spare
time in the garden to get them looking so perfect.

We are also treated to beautiful ocean views as the road dips and
turns. It’s truly a very pretty area.

We finish the day in a wild spot with a million dollar view, just on the
outer edge of the Beara peninsula.