With the storm tapering off and a brilliant Guinness hangover suspended overhead instead, there were no sunrise photos this morning! I must say though, the folks in Allihies are a brilliant lot. If you are ever in Ireland and driving around the coast, be sure to swing into the local pub and say hi to some of the best people on the island.
The plan for this morning was to head over to Dursey Island. Watching the forecast the night before the wind was supposed to die down into the morning and by the morning be below the 60km/hr limit the cable car has to make its trek over the Atlantic.
Since 1969, the Dursey Island cable car remains Ireland's only cable car and the only cable car that traverses open seawater in all of Europe
They move everything from food, sheep, goods, through this cable car. I wasn’t lucky enough to share the rickety tin can with any sheep, but an island resident was bringing in his morning supplies and naturally I had to say hi to the dog! If being in a tin can suspended on telephone cables wasn’t enough, the sign says to change battery when indicator is in red… is in red as far as can be. It makes the larger warning sign rather mute.
The goal was to hike out to the west end of the island and simply see the sights. The rocky shores of Dursey Island were a great sight to see.
It is a bit unfortunate there is no bridge or scheduled car ferry to bring across as this road would be amazing to drive on.
While there are roads… or rather 'a' road, the only vehicles found on the island are dropped off with a small ferry. It is not commonly used and the vehicles are mostly unregistered and in various states of disrepair.
While in Ireland, do not ever get the impression that you are truly alone. Unlike CCTV in Britain, the Irish country side is filled with the beady eyes of sheep staring you down.
The far west end of Dursey Island offers the opportunity for whale watching. I personally didn’t see any but I also didn’t wait around for too long. The impressive Bull Rock Lighthouse can also be seen in the distance.
The highest point of Dursey Island boasts an old signal tower which dated back to the Napoleonic Wars.
Hanging out in the can which resembles a modified air shipping container with a church pew placed in it for sitting, a thought occurred to me. I found it rather ironic that for as how big Health and Safety procedures are all over the island, the door is literally a sliding wooden door with a handle on it. I assume if you wanted to open it midflight there is really nothing preventing you from doing so besides your own common sense.
Being the only cable car in Europe that goes over the open ocean, it’s definitely worth checking out.
The generally area around Allihies has a bit more narrow roads than I've seen so far on the trip. There was a couple sections that I was hitting rumble strips on the passenger side and I was basically on the yellow line or over. There was signs in Gaelic around here as well which was pleasant to see.
I was about to start heading north but decided to check out the abandoned copper mine near Allihies that a few people were talking about. The owner of the hostel and the cable car operator knew of this site but stated it was a very narrow mountain road and you should park at the bottom before hiking up. Definitely don’t take a car up.
With where we have taken our 4x4’s in the Canadian mountains on narrow eroding shelf roads, I couldn’t imagine there being something worse in Ireland. Turns out it wasn’t all that bad at all!
I spotted the old mine on my right but the little single lane road kept going higher. With curiosity in good supply, higher I went. The road actually got a bit rocky; this was about the most amount of ‘offroad driving’ I managed to pull off in Ireland
The narrowest section was about 1.5 car widths so a small truck could through. Turns out it was actually a small mountain pass and by the looks of it you could continue onwards to the next village. I imagine this would be a huge time saver over going all the way around, although it doesn’t appear to be that popular of a route.
The main shaft for the copper mine resembles a large tear in the earth. They used large engines to pump out water to allow even deeper mining. Some of the shafts actually went down below sea level.
The abandoned copper mine overlooking the village of Allihies. At its peak in 1845, the mines employed about 1600 people.
Near Dunboy in Cork County I came across a small river inlet where an old shipwreck lay. The memorial is actually from an unfortunate accident where three young boys Fiesta slid from the embankment and landed upside down in 2008, all three perished.
Trying to find a good spot to catch the sunset from, I found myself on a VERY narrow muddy road. The car didn’t like it too much and slid off into the ditch and nailed what I assumed was a large boulder. Thankfully no body damage was found but I later realized that when I got on the pavement my steering wheel was now crooked. It was pointing to about the 2 o’clock position instead of 12, poor rental.
While this isn’t technically a castle, it is an old abandoned mansion, albeit still referred to as Dunboy Castle. During the Irish boom, a family started building this mega home and ultimately went bankrupt. It never ended up being occupied and to this day is fenced off and surrounded by the plants that leave a nasty rash.
With the sun setting and ravens circling ahead, it made for a very creepy sight as it felt like something straight out of a horror movie.
Just as I was about to pack up from this mini nightmare, I spot a little girl on a tricycle coming up the road…. Could this get ANY creepier? There is no village or town nearby and we have an old abandoned building, ravens crying and shrieking ahead, the light is coming down very quickly and now I have a small girl by herself pedaling towards me singing.
I cropped the photo to show that I really couldn’t make this stuff up. Thankfully a couple minutes later her parents were walking around the corner. They must have been out for an evening walk, thankfully.
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