Day 8 - Island HoppingAugust 8, 2019 in Ireland ⋅ 🌧 17 °C
Overslept & woke up in a panic at 9.00am. Jackie & I had volunteered to go down to Skibbereen on the motorcycle to get some more provisions for a picnic.
It wasn’t until 10.15am that Jackie had finally done her make-up............and washed some clothes & put them out to dry. We scooted down to Skibbereen and abandoned the motorcycle outside a pub. In Field’s Supermarket we rushed around & picked up 5 bottles of wine, 10 large bread rolls, ham, sausage rolls, another kilo of mussels & some fruit. We stuffed it all into the panniers & headed back.
It was about 11.10am when we returned to the cottage & made our picnic up, a selection of ham, egg & cheese rolls. The picnic & coats were stuffed into rucksacks & we set of in Chris’ car to Cunnamore
At midday we boarded the Thresher, the Cunnamore to Heir Island, that only departed every two hours. Luckily we weren’t the last to arrive at the harbour because the last 2 people had to be left behind as the ferry could only carry 12 passengers.
Four minutes later we disembarked the ferry at Heir Island. The ferry captain collected our money of €3 each and gave us a map of the Island. A single road ran from one end to the other and just one other road ran off it down to the main beach. Before we left the harbour, Chris contacted a telephone number on a poster to establish the ferry times over to Sherkin Island.
That sorted, we walked for about half a mile to the main beach, which was a small but clean & sandy beach. We sat on a wall & ate half of our picnic basking the faint sun. I even dipped my toes in the water & was surprised that it actually wasn’t that cold. Half an hour later, we were heading back to the harbour to catch our next ferry. Chris & I stopped & spoke to a man who was from Cork, but was doing a grand job of rebuilding an old family home. He warned us that the rain was due to come in around 4.00pm.
At 1.40pm, we boarded the M.V. Boy Colm, the Cunnamore, Heir Island & Sherkin Island ferry. The captain resembled the Ronnie Barker character in their famous Fork Handles sketch. This journey was much longer, about 20 minutes, and we passed 2 seals. Our 1st decent wildlife spot of the trip. This ferry trip cost us €5 each, much better value!
Upon docking at Sherkin Island, which was directly opposite Baltimore, the wind started to get up and the temperature dropped. We arranged for ‘Ronnie’ to collect us at 3.00pm, hopefully to stay ahead of the rain. We walked up the hill, passing the ruins of Sherkin Friary, which was built by the O’Driscoll clan in 1449. However, in 1537, the residents of Waterford burned the Friary down in retaliation for acts of piracy committed by the O’Driscolls.
We only had an hour, so we marched up to The Jolly Roger Pub, voted Best Costal Ireland Pub, somehow! The barmaid was not a very welcoming sole. Chat was not her thing & the only thing on the menu was chips. They had sold out of everything else.
We bought a pint each & took them outside to finish off our picnic in the blustery wind. From our elevated position, we saw ‘Ronnie’ returning to pick us up, having refuelled at Baltimore. We drank up & returned to the harbour for our return journey back to Cunnamore. We did have a chat with ‘Ronnie’ as we disembarked, but we couldn’t understand a word he said. I think it was something about fishing, but he could have been just insulting us!
We took a couple of minor diversions to Turks Head & to Killeen Beach, but nothing to report. We returned to the cottage & I went to bed & slept for 2 hours. The others also had varying amounts of sleep.
I woke up at 6.45pm & half heartedly started todays blog. Jackie cooked up 2 kilos of mussels in a white wine & tarragon sauce. I had a bread roll! At 9.35pm we headed out to our local pub. Angela chose to drive as the weather was so awful.
We arrived at Minihane’s Bar around 10pm & ordered 2 and a half Guinness’s & a wine for Jackie. The barmaid, Teresa (Tess) & her sister, the landlady Josephine (Josie) were very welcoming. Almost as soon as our drinks arrived an old boy sat in a chair burst into song with a sea shanty, followed by a tune on his squeezebox. After a few minutes of silence, an old woman next to him started singing with a lovely haunting voice.
This was repeated a couple of times until 2 large families turned up. Three youngsters, who were French & from one of the families got their musical instruments (2 fiddles & another squeezebox) out & joined in with them. A young lad sang a solo song & an old guy at the bar also did his bit.
It was a great atmosphere, made all the more so by thunder & lightening rumbling & flashing outside.
At midnight, we made it known that it was Jackie’s Birthday, which prompted the landlady Josie to bring out a Mars Bar with a candle in it & we sang Happy Birthday to her. Josie then ordered some young lad to sing a song, which he did in front of all of his mates. Josie then sang a song at our table.
Angela, who had nursed just two half’s of Guinness all night, then bravely sang several verses of Hallelujah on behalf of us English contingent. Thank you Angela.
The final song of the night was by Tess, which was a treat, because apparently she rarely sings!
It was the perfect end to a fantastic evening.
Song of the Day - Don’t Pay the Ferryman by Chris de BurghRead more