Saturday 5 March 2011: Cliffs of Gortavallig
Not much sun today but so still and clear. Carmel came over and we all went off for a massive walk. Carmel is in training for walking the Comino. In July she is intending to walk the French route, starting off near Biarritz and walking some 800 kilometres to Santiago del Compostella. She's intending to walk around 22km a day for around a month.This is something I would love to do so will be interested to hear how she gets on.
To get her started we headed off to the northside of the peninsula and walked along these spectacular cliffs towards the old copper mines. Not for the 'weak, fainthearted or seriously pregnant' as the guide book warns! The copper mines were founded in the 19c - the brainchild of a Corkman but worked by Cornishmen. It was going to be the new Eldorado - opened in 1845 but closed just three years later. The walk takes you passed their tiny cottages and the old mine shafts. A truly isolated spot and such ferocious hard work. Where this blip was taken, the path is only about half a metre wide and the cliffs are mighty and vertical; a rope is kindly provided so you can cling on to that and not look down!
We continued, passed another massive blow hole onto the The cove - a small inlet with a tiny quay where the writer JG Farrell was swept to his death by a freak wave in 1979. Then inland and over to the southside. At one point we could see both side of the peninsula and not another soul around for miles.
More abandoned buildings were spotted. Himself and Carmel refused to join me as I trudged across the fields for a snoop. This little window caught my eye. A nice old farm, now slowly returning to the earth.
Later on I also liked this old window, slipping downwards and suitably propped.
A great walk and now nearly time for a nice big glass of wine:)