Monday, 21 April 2008

Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints

After lunch and our visit to the ponies we drove over to Daisy Cottage and then took a trip to the shoreline near the cottage. It's a quite little place with a couple of wooden picnic tables, a couple of benches, and lots of sea!
Himself decided to have a snooze after his hearty lunch and I left him in the warmth of the car to brave the cold outside and take the opportunity to take some photos of the shoreline. I was hoping I might see dolphins again, but sadly no.

The afternoon was sunny but boy was it freezing down by the shoreline, and quite windy too. After taking a few pictures I had a read of the information sign at the edge of the shore. It told me I could expect to see a huge variety of birds there including the following: Black-headed Gull, Black-tailed Godwit, Brent Goose, Curlew, Fulmar, Gannet, Grey Heron, Kingfisher, Kittiwake, Lapwing, Little Tern, Mallard Duck, Puffin, Razorbill, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Roseate Tern, Storm Petrel, Tufted Duck, White-fronted Goose, and Whooper Swan. And what did I see? One lone seagull of indeterminable type soaring and gliding above me. Ah well, no dolphins, no variety of birds. Still, the view was pretty amazing.

Back into the car, himself refreshed after his little snooze we moved on to travel along St. John's Point.

St. John's Point is a long narrow strip of land jutting out into the ocean and is the most southerly point of south west Donegal. Dunkineely, the village where Daisy Cottage is is the point from where you can travel the road all the way down St. John's Point. There is a complete 360 degree view from the point, and on a clear day you can see the coastline of North Mayo and Sligo to the south, Killybegs to the north, Doorin Point near Donegal Town to the east, and the highest approachable sea cliffs in Europe, Sliabh aLiag to the west.

I wanted to get photos of the lighthouse which dates from 1844 and is at the very tip of the point and also of the tiny coral beach near the lighthouse.

We drove right down to the lighthouse but I would recommend it might be better to park at the coral beach and walk the couple of kilometers to the lighthouse. The reason being is the tiny road is very narrow - just one car width, and it proves a bit of a trial if another car appears travelling in the opposite direction. But the day was cold so we ventured forth in the car.

In a field beside the lighthouse a herd of cattle lazily chewed their cud, oblivious to the fantastic views which surrounded them. They were probably wondering as we were at the braveness, or barking madness, of the group of men who had just returned to dry land from the freezing waters after a dive off the Point. I think I'd have wanted something a lot warmer than a wetsuit to protect me! Do they make hot water bottles and electric blankets to dive in? P'raps not.

Back down the track to the little coral beach. I had to get out to touch the sand - it looked so peachy and pink from the car. It is made up of the finest little teeny tiny stones and I just wanted to stay there a while enjoying the feel of these tiny rounded stones which would not be at all uncomfortable to walk on barefooted. But just not that day brrrrrr!
I was so tempted to take some of the beautiful grains of stone home with me but the words of the old Indian, Chief Seattle, always comes to mind at such times

'Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints'

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