Sheep's Head - or the walk that was far too long
Sorry for all the mess. I'm trying to get that with the photos right but apparently I can just upload them seperately. I try again and if it doesn't work then there are no photos for you I'm afraid
Alright the story of Sheep's Head … way to early in the morning. I'm usually a morning person but seriously who let's a bus leave at 8 in the morning. I had to get up at 6 o'clock and I was already kind of late.
Let' say the weather was completely Irish. The sky was grey, it drizzled and there was a strong wind. In Germany they would have canceled the trip by now but you know in Ireland the weather might change throughout the day no matter how grim it looks in the morning. The other AuPair, who wanted to go with me canceled on me claiming she didn't want to catch a fever. I'm not sure where she's coming from but in Germany we had worse temperatures than that. Because funny enough even though it was very windy and drizzled it was not cold. Equipped with my warmest coat and even a cap (my ears hurt fast when it's windy) I made my way to Bishopstown and got really lucky in Hawks Road, where you could park for free. I even managed to find a proper parking spot - not the one in front of the closed down shop where it would be clear I don't live in the area. The bus for Cork was a little bit late. But I managed to get to Parnell's Place (the big bus station with buses leaving for the whole country) in time and even found the bus at once. I sat close to tried a group of people a little bit older than me, hoping I might get to know some new people. As soon s I at down however I found out that they were all speaking in Italian. What a shame. I seemed to be the only German. All in all we were like eight people – I was surprised we were so few.
Since I was very tired (I had been out the night before), I tried to get some sleep on the bus, that left 10 minutes after it was supposed to leave. That surprised me a lot because I'd expected it to wait a least for half an hour in the Irish fashion, I heard so much about. I guess were were just on the road to Clonakilty when I woke up to see the bus turning in the middle of the very narrow country road and fifteen minutes later we were back in Cork, where at least another 10 Italian people entered the bus, who were obviously late. And off we were again.
The bus ride took two and a half hours through beautiful landscapes I didn't see that much of (hence me sleeping).All in all it took us two and a half hours to get to Sheep's Head. I think it was not very considerate to have no toilet break throughout the whole time but I'm sure we would have if you'd asked it. Another German attitude: getting irritated about something but not having the guts to say something about it because you don't want to fall out of line. I woke up in time to see Sheep's Head, which was really beautiful. You know this is the Ireland you see on the post cards because I have to admit Ballinhassig looks not that different from in any rural area in Germany.
The roads were very narrow again and the ground fell steep right next to it. The only thing that prevented you from possibly driving over it was a half meter high wall that wouldn't stop the bus from falling down, I mused. Just as I told myself that the bus driver grew up on Irish roads and probably had driven this route a thousand times I heard a crash. It turned out that instead of passing the little wall we scraped it on one of the bridges. People panicked a little bit there but we were fine and went on.
The farther we went the more fog we had and I thought I might not be able to show you guys any photos.
And so we started our walk through the hills. I met another girl from Bavaria then – the only other German on the trip. She seemed nice enough. We weren't going to be the best friends ever but it was nice to have somebody to talk to on such a long trip. We went to the lighthouse and at first I was very amused because there were a lot of signs for the lighthouse but there was no lighthouse to be found. It was so hidden I only saw it on the way back from our break there. another sign seriously where is it?
We had a break directly at the shore and you could see the ocean. The fog had lifted by now and a great view unfolded before our eyes. I even climbed down very far down something probably only stupid tourists would do but I was very careful because there's nothing I hate more than tourists who get themselves in dangerous situations because they want to take a photo of something and I didn't go down as far as some of them plus I think we were fairly safe because it was like 15 meters to the shore. It was my first day at the ocean and I don't know whether you've seen it but I where the waves crash into the rocks the water would have a totally different shade of blue. It was so beautiful.
And then we went on. We saw something very interesting between two narrow cliffs with only little current between them. There was something white and funny on the surface, which turned out to be salt.
It was a pity you couldn't always marvel at the beauty or take photos as much as you liked because you had to stay in the group.
And then we went on again and I can tell you that was no fun. In Germany walking mean having a leveled and fixed walking trail with a lot of signs in which way you have to go and how long it takes. In Ireland you have at some point not even a track and only a colored fence post every now and then to assure you you're still on the right direction. It was very wet and you kept slipping. After four hours my feet hurt and I wanted it to be over now. I think most of the people out of the group had the same thought. The only idea that kept me going the remaining two hours was the fact that every step would take me closer to the bus. Seriously we walked from the one shore over the peninsula to the other one. After like four hours of walking you can't even appreciate the landscape anymore, which was beautiful by the way.
The way home we were all tired and I managed to get out in Bishopstown instead of having to take the bus from Cork back there. I put some petrol into my car and then went back to the farm. I had to stop my car once because a whole village was out on the street. It turned out they played streetbowling on the only mainroad there was and continued doing so as I went on. So sad I didn't have time to put my camera out.
Sheep's Head Mountain Trip
Prize : 10€
- make sure it's well organized and not that long. Walking shoes are not a must but very helpful
- I wouldn't recommend such a big group (20 people) and preferably one, who speak a language you speak as well