The first stop on the way to Valentia was the old R.I.C. Barracks in Cahirciveen. This interesting building has Disneyesque turrets at which one would expect to see Tinker Belle or Rapunzel appear at any moment. After that we took the short ferry ride from fishing port of Renard Point to the planned village of Knightstown. We immediately repaired to the lounge of the Royal Hotel and ordered a round of Toasted Rasher Sandwiches at the insistence of Kay Hunt, this is was washed down with Tea and Coffee, which set us up for the rest of the long day ahead.
The next stop on our journey was the marker for the Altazamuth Stone which is located on Peter Street in the village. This stone accurately marks the longitude of various locations along the 52 parallel from Omsk in Siberia to Valentia. The beautiful grounds of St. Johns Church provided lots of photo opportunities. Onwards we went to the Slate Quarry, with its stunning views overlooking the lighthouse and the waters that surround the island.
The lighthouse beckoned and those of us who undertook the journey down the narrow and very steep bohereen were rewarded with some fine shots of the waves crashing up on the rocky foreshore and also the lighthouse itself. Our next location was the Fogher Cliffs and Geokaun Mountain. At the top we were taken aback with the magnificent 360o views of the Island. We could see north to the Blaskets and Dingle Peninsula, east to Knightstown, Cahirciveen and Iveragh Peninsula, south to the Portmagee Channel and west to the Skelligs. Thanks to Ian Willey's wife who remembered to bake some delicious Queen Cakes and made sure her husband had sufficient hot water to ply the rest of us with some more tea and coffee.
There is an Ardfert connection with the Island, St. Brendan is reputed to have been baptised there, at the well that bears his name. After this brief stopover, we proceeded to Foilhommerum Bay, the site of first landfall of a commercially viable transatlantic telegraph cable. As the sun was blazing and the view was magnificent, we lingered for a long time savouring the tranquillity and beauty of the spot.
We then drove to the top of the mountain the overlooks Portmagee and Ballinskelligs for some more photo opportunities. The day was coming to an end and our stomachs were ready for more and the Mooring in Portmagee was the excellent choice we made. All of us sat around the one long table and discussed the terrific day we all had. Kay Hunt promises she snapped the winning photograph for our next meeting and hinted that some of us may be rather embarrassed when we see it. All will be revealed at our next meeting on Thursday the 21st of April at 8pm in the Golf Club Rooms in Sackville Ardfert. We have an Open Photo Competition at this meeting with a €5 entry fee.
Remember guests are always welcome, we have a relaxed and informal atmosphere, learn to use your camera to take better pictures and have fun in the process. Call Francis Foley on 087 905 4161 if you require any further information