Sunday, 16 August 2015

A Long and Lovely Summer

Well we may not have had the weather to make it a long and lovely summer but I do feel like I have had a good break and having been to all my favourite places to recharge and re-inspire, I'm ready to throw myself into making for the Autumn season.

We went back to the Dingle peninsula for our main holiday this year. Last year we booked a wonderful holiday cottage for the two weeks but this year we went back to camping.
In years past we have camped way out west on the peninsula but for various reasons we pitched our tent at the Rainbow Hostel this year. I missed the views and the tranquility of our old camping spot below but the hostel had lots of advantages.

One advantage was all the great people we met. Another was being able to walk into town and back in the evenings and a big advantage for me was being able to use the hostel kitchen. Cooking in a tent in wild weather is never very much fun!

Although we visit the Dingle area regularly, we always find new things to do. This year we took a boat trip from Ventry with

We chose the full day trip which left Ventry at 10am, dropped us on Great Blasket Island at 11, picked us up again at 2 and had us back to Ventry for 5 o'clock.

My photos from the trip are not great as I forgot to take my camera and my phone ran out of charge.
Like most of the days on holiday, the weather was changeable. Bright sunshine one minute with short heavy showers the next.

I was fascinated to see the coastline from out at sea. It just gives a different perspective on the area.

It was great to be on the Blasket Island again. On previous visits we have had spectacular weather and spent the whole day on the beach but as we only had 3 hours and it was a bit showery, we had a nice cup of tea and a scone at the cafe and took the free tour of the ruined village run by the Office of Public Works representatives from the Blasket Centre.

It was interesting the hear all about island life and to learn who lived in which cottage.

The island donkey's made an appearance as well. I'm not sure if they are the same donkeys, but when camping on the island 15 years ago, I woke up to find this one below with his head in the porch of my tent, scoffing biscuits from a bag!

I love the colour of the waters around the island and the view back to the mainland. 

In the afternoon after the boat picked us up again, we had hoped to go north round the Sleeping Giant island to look for humpback whales. Unfortunately the sea conditions did not allow for this. We went south instead, away out to Inishvickillaun.

It was great fun on the boat. We sat way up front and it was like being on a roller coaster. We forgot we were meant to be watching out for whales and dolphins we were having so much fun. We enjoyed chatting to the skipper and crew as well. 

 Seals at Inishvickillaun and Cathedral Rocks on Inishnabro. 

Below is Great Blasket Island viewed from out at sea. I'm already looking forward to our next visit and taking a walk to the back of the island.

Brooding skies often threatened rain that never came.
Although we didn't see any whales or dolphins we still had a great time and we did see seals, puffins, red deer on the island, lots of sea birds and a sun fish. We know from speaking to one of the boat men a few days later that they have seen minky whales and humpback whales since our trip. 

The Skipper gave our daughter a shot at driving the boat! She was so chilled out about it, just cruising along, a little tweak on the wheel here and there. It really made her day.

When we got back to Ventry pier we enjoyed a swim even though the tide was out. We went back to the pier a week later when the tide was right in and had great fun jumping off into beautiful deep, clear water. It's just the best fun ever!

It's amazing how different the temperature of the water can be from day to day and from beach to beach. .We went for an early morning swim at Ventry and it was the coldest water I have ever swam in! And yet when we jumped off the pier the next day it felt lovely.We also found the water at Coumeenole quite bearable but round at Wine Strand it felt freezing! Whatever the temperature, it was always invigorating. It's probably the thing I love best and the thing I miss most about our holidays.

I did no work the whole time we were away except for a bit of doodling at the beach. I'd like to develop this flower in felt and stitch but probably won't get time. I have so much to be getting on with now that we are home. 

I met up with one of my Facebook followers while I was in Dingle and she very generously gave me this wonderful stash of yarn and a whole heap of merino fibre.

I've already made a start using the greens and pinks in this piece below. Just got add the sheep and some more flowers.

Some new work added to my Etsy shop this week include these jewellery pieces and Harris Tweed Trinket Boxes.
My 2016 Calendar is also available.

I'll leave you with this photo taken from a perfect little pub on the pier at Brandon on the north side of the Dingle peninsula. Hope you are all having a wonderful summer. Although there is the tiniest hint of Autumn in the air here, summer is not over yet! 

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