Blogging at 22:10 on Wednesday 16tg August from intended overnighting spot N 51.48524°, W 09.37129° / http://maps.google.com/maps?q=loc:51.48524%2C-09.37129
Last night's camp was as silent as it's possible to get and this morning saw some decent bird life making an appearance, too. It made up for the dearth yesterday evening.
As part of our travel southwest today we called at a convenient Lidl for some provisions. I was behind a taciturn well-dressed lady at the checkout and heard her and the (obviously pretty bright) bloke operating the till exchange greetings and pleasantries.
Come time to pay, the cashier asked the lady if she'd be paying by cash or card. She told him card. She then went for her purse and without further ado or conversation gave him 40 Euros in cash. Without batting an eyelid he silently dealt with this curveball and pleasantly handed her her change. Whilst doing this he asked her if she wanted a receipt and she said a clear and monosyllabic no. He then took the newly-printed receipt from the register, folded it neatly and handed it to her. She thanked him, carefully put it into her purse and went on her way.
By lunchtime we'd arrived at a car park about two miles short of Brow Head: the southernmost point of mainland Ireland. This just is a geographical fact, even though Mizen Head has rather a lot to say about the subject.
A splendid run to the Head itself followed (pic) and it was gloriously free of any other fools running to the actual southernmost point of mainland Ireland in the heat of the midday sun.
It's for sure a rugged and spectacularly beautiful spot with outstanding views of Fastnet Rock and its famous lighthouse: a place we intend to visit in a couple of day's time.
After the run, and a shower and lunch we then - for the sake of completeness - drove the few miles to Mizen Head where we encountered the inevitable soup of hundreds of multi-national tourists scrabbling for parking spaces. We would have simply driven away again but for the glorious seascape and the sight of hundreds of porpoises hunting in innumerable groups as far as the eye could see. To add to the spectacle, gannets in their dozens took advantage of the fishing opportunity and constantly bombarded the sea amongst the hunting porpoise with their always-spectacular folded-winged dives.
Before we knew it an hour had passed and we had inadvertently become official Mizen Head tourists. As we were about to leave, I spotted a group of corvids playing on the clifftop eddies and making a pretty distinctive sound. Sure enough, we were honoured with the rare sighting of about a dozen choughs. Turns out Mizen Head was pretty cool, but for all the wrong reasons.
The drive out was initially through breathtakingly pretty landscapes that were demoted to simply pretty landscapes as we trundled east. Said trundle now finds us at the coordinates shown in the port town of Baltimore where we hope to be able to have a stab at some sleep. We're here for two reasons. One is to catch the earliest available ferry to the island of Sherkin in the morning, the other is that we were roundly defeated on our quest for a nice place to overnight. For the last 15 miles of the journey in we searched many a smaller road but found nothing. Sometimes It's just like this.
Even the town itself proved a wretchedly difficult place to find somewhere to park. It's rammed with people and vehicles and also liberally littered with dozens of temporarily abandoned boat trailers. Paying attention to silly things like yellow lines and parking signs seems entirety optional, here. It's far from our usual haunt and just as we're looking to kip the area is buzzing...
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