Saturday, August 27, 2016

Return to Valentia

We went back to Valentia Island in Kerry for photographs, we were hoping to be able to get clear shots again from Geokaun Mountain, the highest point on Valentia, but alas. We were there during the incredible summer in 2014, when the weather was simply glorious, and the views were stunning, but sadly on the Saturday of our return visit in 2016 it was very misty, and even though Geokaun cleared, we wouldn't have been able to see much of the surrounding landscape, so we found the Skellig Viewing Point and went up there instead. It wasn't a total dead loss - Knight's Town, the main town on Valentia, has a really interesting bookshop that's part of a pub, and while the town itself is heaving with young families enjoying watersports in August, there are interesting placenames and you can't help wondering how they got there. Plus we got talking with a nice man from Alberta, Canada named Ken, and a lovely couple from Murcia in Spain, all avid Star Wars fans hoping to get out to see Sceilg Mhíchíl.

I will repeat it ad nauseum: The Skelligs Islands are a wild bird sanctuary. Be happy to sail AROUND them. (Whether or not the film crews actually got the permission through the correct channels to actually go on the island has never been made clear. Stories abound, let's just put it that way.)

Anyway, here are some shots.

You'd kind of wonder what was going through the minds of the monks who lived there long ago, out there at the edge of the world, as it was then. They were completely at the mercy of the elements, and the sea out there is treacherous, and I would imagine that the mainland was invisible for much of the time as well. And there were no rescue services, no helicopters, no radios .... Just birds, rocks and ocean. 

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