Saturday, April 14, 2012

The girls visited me on Valentia!

The song to listen to today is: The Boys of Barr na Sraide

These flowers were in something called "The Safe Forest" - a very spiritual spot on Valentia Island.

Finding my way around with just a map and a bike. Someone I met told me I was very brave to do this! - but everywhere I've been has felt really safe.

This picture reminded me of home.

What different woods! Faeries dance here. (In fact, there was an ancient Faery Tree nearby.)

I collected rocks on the shore every color of the rainbow!

Abandoned houses, because of famine, immigration, and pestilence, are all over the countryside. I thought this picture was magical. 

Ponies in the hills of a slate quarry.

Reading a sign about tetrapod tracks...

This was a cottage I found, and the woman who lived in it is no longer alive, but her neighbor told me that she was German, and when she told her husband she was going to live in Ireland, he said, "I forbid it!" and she said, "Forbid, me arse!" (or at least, that was the way the Irish neighbor said it!) 
What a house!

My hosts decided to throw me an American barbeque. (Almost no one barbeques here.) Mm, smelled like home to me!

Working in the polytunnel - planting onions!

I wanted to paint, and magically, brushes appeared in my cottage! I will post the painting when I'm done.

Our second-cousin, Kav Sheehan! He drives a boat and told me that the Sheehans of Cahirciveen were witty, high-spirited, and alcoholics.

Another second-cousin, Anne Sheehan! She says I do NOT have "the Sheehan nose", hahaha!

She told me that we actually ARE related to "the Sheehans, Con and Dan" in The Boys of Barr na Sraide!!!! I was absolutely ecstatic. It was one of the songs that brought me to Cahirciveen.

Monica and Danielle heard me rave so much about Valentia, that they came to spend my last week with me!!! Yup, they took a 10-hour bus trip just to do this! I was soo happy!!

We went everywhere on our bikes.

Exploring the cliffs...

We took a boat to the Skellig Islands! Once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Landing was so scary! One passenger had to hold the boat while the captain gave us a hand up as we jumped onto slippery cut-rock steps! (No landing dock!)

Then we climbed 700 steps (also with no railings...)

And these are the monk's ancient "beehive" huts at the top

I wonder what the monk who lived here thought, waking up every morning and looking out his front door? The huts really were warm and snug, and protected you from the violent wind, but it was SO isolated and silent up there.


The ride back was really rollicky and I got SOAKED! (loving it, obviously)

We met Germans on the boat and went out with them that night!

So many Germans...