Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ardnakinna Revisited

So, my brother-in-law Aiden and myself had been planning a trip down to West Cork for ages, the object of which was basically to get the cable-car to Dursey Island, walk the 4 miles to the end of the island for views of the Calf Rock, Bull Rock and the remains of the old temporary lighthouse. The 2 days before we were due to go, we found out that the cable car was out of action for a week for a repairs.
So Plan B. We drove down to Catletownbere, had a quick pint of Murphy's in O'Sullivan's while waiting for the ferry and then went to Bere Island, which protects the harbour at Castletownbere.
Getting off the boat, you walk up the lonely road till you reach a t-junction, turn right and follow the Red Loop hiking signs. The road soon disappears and you hike about 45 minutes over hill and dale and through a few swampy bits to get to the south westerly point of the island, Ardnakinna.
This is a lovely and completely isolated lighthouse, a lot bigger than I'd imagined it, photographing it from the mainland last year. Details here
Castletownbere is apparently the second largest natural harbour in the world (I have no idea what the largest is) and a beacon to mark the approaches to it here wqas first built in 1850. It was placed in the care of a local man but after 13 years, the light was capped. It was only re-established - using the light from a disused lightship - in November 1965.

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