Out for a walk beside the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Heading to Nova Scotia around August 1st.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

The most westerly point in Ireland

We woke up yesterday morning to heavy fog. It's kind of pointless doing a scenic coastal drive under those conditions, so we did the short drive into the town of Dingle and parked at the local Lidl grocery store and waited for the 8:00am opening.

We did some grocery shopping (once again, cheaper than we expected it to be) and sat out the fog until we noticed it starting to burn off around 10:00am.

Then we headed west to Ventry Beach, a wide, long expanse of sand. Managed to get a decent free parking spot overlooking the beach.

Ventry Beach.

We walked about 2 kms each way.

Not the most exciting walk.
We both mentioned how we'd rather be on a mountain!

But, it was a nice enough spot to hang out for a couple of hours watching the people come and go from our parking spot overlooking the beach.

It cleared up a little more after lunch and we set off on the coastal route that is called Slea Head Drive.

Slea Head Drive is a circular route that has some very narrow sections. Despite this, it's a popular route for the tour bus crowd. The tour buses do it clockwise, so it's highly recommended that anybody else do the same, although there is nothing stopping you from doing it the opposite way. There was talk a couple of years ago of it being officially made a one way route after summer tourist traffic jams occurred, but nothing ever came of it. 

Old stone barn made into a pub.

Coastline looking back.

Not everybody does some research about the best direction to drive it.

Looking ahead.

The Blasket Islands, the most westerly point in Ireland.

There are several small pulloffs where you can get out and take photos.

You don't want to meet someone coming the other way on this section!

Yes, the big tourist buses do this road.

We are going to stop at that little beach up ahead.

What a pretty beach!

Looking west towards the Blasket Islands.

We continued on to the Blasket Islands Visitors Center. 

Scenery along the way.

Pretty flowers.

We originally parked at the visitors center, but you are not allowed to stay overnight. We saw a dirt road that had a dead end sign on it and went for a walk and found a perfect spot for Max! We went back to the visitors center and drove Max down right away in case someone else had the same idea. There was only room for one motorhome!

Max, parked at GPS 52.130352, -10.462347

The Blasket Islands were inhabited up until 1953. They say that people have lived there for over 2,000 years. There was a thriving community of islanders throughout the 1800's, with recent population peaking at 180 people in the early 1920's. 

However the population steadily dropped as young people moved abroad. Many Blasket Islanders ended up in Springfield, Massachusetts.

By 1953, the population was down to about 25 people and the island was officially evacuated by the government because of extreme winter weather that left the island's ageing population cut off from emergency services.

The visitors center tells the story of the island life.

Fishing boat display.

Once again, we saved the €5 entry fee per person thanks to our English Heritage cards. Worth an hour or so to wander around and learn about life on the islands. We also watched a 15 minute film.

Afterwards, we went for a walk out to the island viewpoint.

There are five major islands.
This is the largest, Great Blasket Island.

Zoomed in on Tearaght Island.

Inis Tuaisceart Island.
Nicknamed "The Sleeping Giant".

This fellow was making a lot of noise.

Wide angle view of the islands.

Looking back at Max.

The Blasket Islands.

Had a totally peaceful night. Just a few hikers walking by this morning.

Here's our route since we arrived back in this area last week...

It's taken us a week to go 118 kms (73 miles)!

Record low deal on the Sea Eagle Inflatable Kayak.

And in Canada...

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