Kilbrittain#32Sure, a little bit o’ Heaven fell from out the sky one day
And nestled on the ocean in a spot so far away
And when the angels found it sure it looked so sweet and fair
They said suppose we leave it for it looks so peaceful there!

So they sprinkled it with star dust just to make the shamrocks grow
‘Tis the only place you’ll find them no matter where you go
Then they dotted it with silver to make its lakes so grand
And when they had it finished sure they called it Ireland!

Courtmacsherry#1Okay so it’s so sweet and Stage Oirish that it makes your teeth ache but it helps me sum up how I feel about my home country. The weather changes with the flick of a celestial switch (four seasons in one day wouldn’t be unheard of), the economy is in the toilet, the buses are on strike (in Dublin anyway) and we do so  badly at sport we’ve developed the habit of having a party whether we win or not. That list of woes could go on, but it doesn’t matter because, especially when the sun shines, Ireland is a little bit of heaven and the people really do extend a Cead Míle Fáilte – a hundred thousand welcomes.

The Ban Chéile and I decided to head off on one of our day-long ‘spins’ in the car the other day and of course even though West Cork on the southernmost coast is just 40 minutes away from our place in North West Cork we managed to spend 7 hours exploring the already familiar high roads and by-roads along the coast.

Courtmacsherry#2Even though TBC is a native of Cork (Ireland’s biggest county and boasting our nation’s second city) we managed to find two little jewels amongst the rolling hills and jagged coastline of West Cork that we hadn’t come across previously. The first is the little village of Kilbrittain (don’t let the name put you off it’s an anglicised version of an Irish name that just sounds like Kill Britain) with its beach and the other was the tiny hamlet of Dunworley and the coves it stands watch over.

Kilbrittain#7-whaleKilbrittain is a nice spot to spend a few minutes rambling through its single street and a stop off at the village park to check out the skeleton of a fin whale beached nearby is an interesting interlude on the way to the beach. When TBC enquired in the local service station if there was a public toilet the woman behind the counter took her to the door and sent her into her house next door – sure the door was already open! Later when we asked to buy a couple of coffees the same woman offered to ‘put on the kettle’ and make instant if we’d prefer – typical of countryside Ireland. The harbour and beach are spotless and even better on a very sunny day in August it was virtually deserted. We pulled out our trusty folding chairs and sat for a couple of hours watching the world go by (and taking pictures of people – see my People Watching Album).

Dunmawley#2Dunworley was really little more than a ‘bump in the road’ but a very pretty bump and one that led the way to a series of little coves that sported the possibility of some really nice waves as well as fairly safe swimming opportunities (not for me you understand because I can’t swim a stroke). Grown Up Child (GUC) Number 4 who is part fish and a keen surfer told me after we returned that Dunworley is one of their regular haunts.

You’ll notice I’m not giving directions or embedding a Google map but if you really want to discover our little gems send me an email and I might be willing to share…maybe.

I’ll add some more photos in my Cork Album.

* Ban-Cheile means Wife/Spouse/Life Partner in the Irish Language. A literal translation would be “woman I’m together with” or thereabouts. 

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