Castletownbere Coastguard Shannon Helicopter (R115) tonight on the towns GAA pitch, a very interesting training session on how to help a helicopter crew to lower a stretcher and lift it (high line) whilst at the same time removing the spinning effect which would normally occur due to the down force of the helicopter. The crew arrived from Shannon and we set off a flare to help them coordinate themselves. They then landed and we had the pleasure of some chat and a visit aboard the helicopter. We then had a briefing and the team split into two groups to be able to try out the techniques explained to us. Great fun and an amazing amount of wind generated from the helicopter when it was close to the ground.
Many thanks to the crew from Shannon we had a blast…
Beara Best Peninsula ? is the question that springs to mind. Recently there have been a spate of articles on the internet about which is the best peninsula to go to and why. But what is the reason that more and more articles are voicing an opinion in favour of the Beara. Is it because of the rugged natural beauty of the Beara, or maybe simply that the peninsula is so isolated. Not really : the Sheeps head is just as rugged and in some ways more isolated. Is it because it has enough small villages with accommodation options to cater for the intrepid traveler? Again not really.
The Beara is the number one peninsula to visit due to the reason that it has some spectacular roads that allow the visitor all the way to the end of the peninsula but also give or take a few miles an option to circumnavigate the peninsula without having to back track. Apart from if the visitor wants to visit the Dursey Sound, there are a few miles off the circuit to drive along to get to the famous (Ireland’s only) cable car. So, ultimately, it’s a war of the “Ring of’s”… Only the Ring of Beara or the Ring of Kerry really enable the visitor to do a circuit of a peninsula and it seems when one looks at the ROK that this is what people are really looking for, the adventure of a spin around a peninsula to enjoy the scenery and not have to back track.
The jewel in the Beara peninsula is peace and quiet, simply that, it is impossible to drive around the Beara Peninsula in a coach and this is it’s saving grace. And the reason that it is not possible to drive a coach around the Beara is due to the bend signalled in the following picture.
Beara Best Peninsula
So there is the answer, if you want to be an adventurer and only have one peninsula to do, Beara is the one… If you want to be a sheep following the madding crowd, go to Kerry, you’ll meet loads of people and their coaches and probably want to forget them.
The best recommendation however is to take your time and do all of them, right to their very ends, and if you have the choice stay in the smaller villages towards the end of the peninsulas to get to meet real people and enjoy the craic.
Sea Kayak Dooneen today with Nadette, the photos were taken with an old Casio compact in a dive box and the lens often had salt water on it. Dooneen was the site of the first of the Allihies Copper Mines and it opened in 1812. The tunnels are visible right down to sea level and it must of been a hell of a place to work in anything other than good weather.
The kayaking is easy to Dooneen and safe enough for most paddlers with average ability. When your done you can head into the village for a pint at O’Neills bar and restaurant and enjoy a nice meal.