Friday, February 26, 2010

My Point of View(s)

Nesting Fulmars at Loop Head

The Kerry Mountains from Loop Head

Loop Head Lighthouse

There are times when things fly around in your head at 100km per hour and threaten to engulf you. I imagine we all have places or rituals to deal with the chaos. One of my boltholes is the very tip of the County Clare Peninsula called Loop Head. From here on a clear day there are spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, the River Shannon, the distant but visible Aran Islands, the Kerry Mountains and the Clare coast right up to Hags Head which is just before the famous Cliffs of Moher. There is something about the Loop Head Peninsula that captures the imagination. It has a very dramatic history particularly relating to famine times. It is a wet and wild headland with a the first lighthouse built there back in the 17th Century. There are countless stories of shipwrecks and the families who grew up at the lighthouse.

At the towering cliffs, thousands of seabirds nest during the spring/summer and their echoing calls add to the atmosphere. Out on the Shannon, there is a famous school or group of Bottle-nosed Dolphins that can be seen from the headland with just the aid of binoculars. I have sat at the tip of the headland and watched them passing along with whales and seabirds.

Whenever I am there, I always bring a sandwich and a flask of tea because the car makes the perfect mobile restaurant with the best view.