South of the wild West.

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We have had some rather special days in the last week. When we met about 8 years ago, we already had two children each. Since then we have all been living together as one family. It has been a fantastic and rewarding time but sometimes challenging as well.

In that time we have created our garden, built our roundhouse extension and conservatory and helped in the start-up of the Community Garden in Ballaghaderreen. We have been very busy and have not really had any time on our own as a couple.

We decided it was high time to change that and booked ourselves into two night in a hotel all the way down in County Cork, located in the south west of Ireland.

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On the way down we drove quite close to the West coast and took a ferry from County Clare to County Kerry. We were amazed by the beauty of the Killarney National park. The Torc waterfall is very tranquil and beautiful; we spent around an hour waking around the forest paths in this area. There are some stunning lakes here as well.

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The next morning we set out discovering West Cork, and our first stop was Gougane Barra. It is a lovely place with a lake, mountains and a forest park.

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 We then travelled on to Future Forests, the plant nursery we have ordered almost all the trees in our garden from. It was lovely to get to see the place with our own eyes and chat to the very friendly and helpful people running it first-hand. The nursery is a beautiful building, made mostly from timber.

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We could not drive away without a few purchases, the most noteworthy perhaps being the lingonberries, common in Scandinavia and some honeyberries from Russia. We are looking forward to harvesting them in our garden next year.We travelled on out onto the Sheep’s Head Peninsula, a most beautiful part of Ireland, and to our eyes improved by the rain and mist.

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All the mountains in the distance showed up as different shades of grey.

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We went all the way to the point and had a lovely cup of tea and a chat in Bernie’s café. The weather had deteriorated quite a lot at this point and we decided to skip the walk out the light house in the cold driving rain.

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Instead we headed back along the south side of the Peninsula and were awarded with more stunning scenery, one perfect postcard view after another…

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By evening we found ourselves in Bantry, a charming little seaside town and spoiled ourselves with monkfish, salmon, and hake cooked to perfection and a shared melt in the mouth brownie for dessert. At that stage of the meal we were too full up to order one each.We drove back to the hotel after what truly felt like one of the best days in our lives so far.

The next morning we went back to Gougane Barra as the weather was very different, and we managed to get some beautiful snaps.

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We headed back out to the Peninsula as we wanted to visit the Heron Gallery and Café, home of the wonderful artist Annabel Langrish. We have added quite a few of her ceramic pieces in our mosaics over the years, and we wanted to see the place where they are made. The gallery was closed but Annabel kindly welcomed us anyway and showed us her studio, gardens and gallery. She gave us a few broken pieces, still very lovely, that we will incorporate into the mosaic planned for the Community Garden and into our own mosaics.

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We started our long drive back and headed up to county Kerry and drove through the mountains back into Killarney national park. These are some of the highest mountains in Ireland and truly mind blowing.

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The weather was quite rainy again but we did not mind as somehow it made the scenery even more beautiful and mysterious.

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We landed back home late in the evening after a total of 1002 km , with our minds filled to the brim with impressions and fantastic memories. The first three days we spent together on our own was lovely and we don’t think we will wait another 8 years to do it again…

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8 thoughts on “South of the wild West.

  • Lingonberries and honeyberries happen to be two exotics that are only now becoming available here, and only from specialty mail order nurseries. Even though I know that they are not as productive as other berries, I SO want to try them, just to see what they are like. Winters are so mild here, that I do not think that they will be very happy, but it is worth a try.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember picking wild lingonberries as a child in Sweden. I was so happy to find them here. They probably like acid soil as they grow wild in the pine forest. I have never tried honeyberries. Good luck if you do get them and let me know how you get on. ☺

      Liked by 1 person

      • I will write about them when it happens. It will not be this autumn. I know the source of the plants as Raintree Nursery in Morton, Washington. They have all sorts of cool plants that are uncommon here.

        Liked by 1 person

  • What a journey! I loved the photos, especially the ones of the reflections in the water at Gougane Barra: such soft and gentle colours. The rain and mist in the others makes for such an atmospheric scene, one almost expects a Banshee or some such creature to make an appearance! And the nursery building- so fascinatingly constructed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, all the colors were just wonderful. It had a real autumnal feel to it. I guess it is all spring like in your part of the world now. I usually look at your wonderful blog posts on my phone. WordPress will not let me comment on them from it for some reason. It only works when I’m on the laptop. You have a lovely garden! ☺🌱

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, Maria. Yes, we are enjoying a wonderful spring and the garden is looking nice because we’ve had a bit of rain. It’s the best spring we’ve had for a few years. I enjoy looking at your garden too-such a different climate.

        Liked by 1 person

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