Thursday, July 9, 2009

Rossbeigh and sheep dogs

This morning we left Caherciveen and headed in to Killarney. We were sorry to leave this part of Kerry. It is so beautiful and the pace of life is so restful. People are friendly and welcoming. I can imagine how painful it must have been for the Irish who had to leave this coast for better economic opportunities. They must have been very sad to leave especially knowing they would probably not see it again.

But, we stopped to watch the sheep dogs do their work and this banished the sadness....

The shepherd was quite entertaining and those dogs were good at their job. Here's the shepherd with a couple of the different varieties that he showed us. He had about 20 different varieties of sheep - most were actually raised for their meat rather than their fleece.

Then on to Rossbeigh which is a beautiful beach. Apparently, there'd been a storm recently and a lot of seaweed had blown in. Our guide kept apologizing because the locals don't like it - neither do most tourists. We assured him that the smell of seaweed and puddles of sea water were just fine with us.

So, he took us over a path of rocks which weren't nearly as easy to walk on as the sand. They were however the most gorgeous shades of pink, gray and green. The camera just couldn't capture them.

So, we when we realized his strategy, we quickly hopped back to the beach again. Here I am in deep conversation. I believe our discussion was theological. Good place to ponder the meaning of things.

We were heading towards the wreck of a big open boat that was named the Sunbeam. Apparently, many locals use it as a landmark whe walking or running.

We found an interesting jellyfish on the way. The beach was covered with them - most were just small translucent blobs.

And we finally stopped to eat our lunch right beside the Sunbeam. Someone had built a small drystone house from the pretty rocks. It was pretty well built and stood about 18 inches high. I loved the vertical stone in the doorway...

Tomorrow, we have our 'final exam' which involves a walk of 11 kilometers. Our landlady assured us this morning that the weather promises to be very wet tomorrow. Could she be wrong? Stay tuned...


Paws on the Run said...

The ship wreck looks very cool. My first thought was a whale rib cage buried in the sand! Wish I could have been there to see the sheep dogs - they are just so amazing.

Joanna said...

Hey Steph, those are really beautiful photos. I love the sheep dog (of course). An 11 km walk sounds pretty intense! By the way, I'm sending you a friendly blogger award so when you have a moment, stop by and pick it up. (Maybe when you get home.) I'm sure loving the vicarious trip to Ireland.

Glennis said...

Lovely photos and story. I was interested in the variety of sheep, they really looked more like goats, if I had been asked what they were I wouldn't have said sheep. NZ has millions of sheep but none look like that. Its always amazing to watch good sheep dogs at work, they ae so well trained they hardly require directions from the farmer at all.
Interesting post and a wonderful holiday for you.

Stephanie V said...

Glennis - the sheep are called Scots Blackface. here in Kerry they're called Mountain Blackface and are the most common sheep you will see grazing all over the hillsides.


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