At long last, another post about my trip to Ireland!
During my visit, I visited a number of different beaches with my grandfather as well as some friends of his (and my sister, when she was home from school and after she finished her semester.)
One of them was Kerins Hole.
This trip I was with D and L, Papa’s friends; Papa had stayed home to take care of some things, and my sister wasn’t yet done with school.
When you arrive at the beach, there’s a parking lot tucked in behind a trailer park of summer residences. From the lot is a concrete walkway leading down–you can see Charlie’s already exploring! (Charlie is my grandfather’s dog and an absolute sweetheart.)
As we got closer to the end of the walkway, I realized just how slick that green stuff–some sort of tiny algae or seaweed–was, and backtracked to rock-hop my way down to the beach. Not the easiest path, but I still beat D and L, who braved the green slick, to the beach!
It was too cold for swimming, but apparently some people do brave it… We were the only ones on the beach, though. It was beautiful, despite the chill in the air!
Sea foam always makes me think of The Little Mermaid.
The great water path–there was a stretch of beach with a shallow but wide stream running down it to the ocean. You can see our footprints and a bit of a dip where I jumped across the first time–I jumped back (being a showoff) and then rock-hopped the other way. I love running around on beaches–it’s one of my most favorite things in the world.
We headed down the beach, and then up again to walk along the cliff through farmland.
I have no idea what plant this is–it might be from the carrot family–but it was so fluffy and green I couldn’t resist taking a picture.
Another unknown but pretty plant.
Lichen! I actually took this photo mostly because I knew someone at school who would love it, but also because lichen is awesome.
More of the pretty pink flower that I saw at The Bridges of Ross, which I’m still not sure is a heather.
Buttercups! We get those at home, too, and in PEI. I love how sunny they are!
Looking back at the beach–you can see the car in the distance and the path we came down, and a second concrete path half covered in stones. Those houses are the summer residences I mentioned (except for the one on the far left, which is the lifeguard building, I believe.) The summer places were all badly damaged in a storm a while back that carried stones all the way up the beach and water even further than that–apparently people came out the next summer, found their houses looking fine, until they opened the door and stepped through the floor. The water damage had rotted away the floorboards in a lot of the houses.
We walked through the park on the way back to the parking lot, and some people were already moving in for the summer, so I’m guessing the damage has been repaired by now. Still, it’s impressive to think how powerful that storm must have been!
The sign at Kerins Hole. It’s a popular swimming area, and not too long ago a new walkway down was installed because the old one fell into disrepair and was dangerously unsafe.
Charlie really wanted to go down! He and Luna (L’s dog) took off across the rocks for a bit, and I went down the walkway, though not on the rocks because everything was very wet and slippery.
The walkway had several plaques along the edge–this one caught my eye especially. I love the message so much.
The land we were walking across was part of a farm, and we actually passed by someone who might have been the farmer. Given the number of other people we saw walking as well, it’s a popular spot for the locals to walk, and the farmer doesn’t seem to mind as long as people keep to the edge of the land. The bird flying past is a seagull–there were a lot of them.
The rough waves carved a lot of cool rock formations and tiny beaches into the side of the cliffs. Many of the beaches were covered in rocks–small and large–worn smooth by the waves.
More cool formations!
I thought it was neat how the rock changed color as it moved toward the ocean…and I also wondered what kind of rock it was. Then I got closer…
Turns out the brown stripe was actually a coating of barnacles, and the black stripe was a coating of baby mussels! Here’s a close up of some of them…but you can imagine just how coated the rocks were to have changed color like that.
I was really glad to have my shoes when we were walking across the barnacles–not sure how the dogs were able to run about the way they did, but I guess their paws are a lot tougher than my feet.
The black dog is Luna, L’s dog. Charlie has a thing about waves…he’s certain they’re out to get everyone, so when he’s at the edge of the ocean, he barks at them. It’s hilarious.
Charlie started to head for the huge row of seagulls a ways off and I had to call him back because I didn’t want him disturbing the birds. He was reluctant, but finally turned around and came back. The seagulls didn’t even blink.
The rocks near the ocean, where they’ve been worn smooth and ridged by the water, remind me a bit of the sandstone flats on the beach in PEI that I frequent during the summer. It’s amazing how much water can accomplish, just by moving over and over. It’s the element of my zodiac, and I’m very proud of that.
On the way back, I found more of the maybe-heather growing from cracks in the rock. It’s amazing how strong this little flower is.
I saw the cute fuzzy caterpillar before anyone stepped on it, thankfully. Then L spotted more. They were so adorable! We were careful to go around them. D was playing ball with the dogs, so wasn’t on the path. The plan was to keep the dogs occupied until we got past a swampy part. That way they didn’t get muddy again. It worked–except for when the ball rolled over the cliff and Charlie went after it and my heart stopped beating for a moment. Thankfully, there was a sort of path down to the rocks and he found the ball and came back up (Luna right behind him.)
Down on one of the rock-covered beach inlets, someone had built a cairn. Not sure how they got down here, as the cliff is pretty steep in that area, but it was pretty cool to spot from above.
Another cairn, this one on the path on the way to the trailer park.
The path down to the parking lot–another car turned up while we were walking, but the people were still sitting inside when we got down there. Hopefully they got out for a walk as well–it was a beautiful day!
Kerins Hole isn’t too far from where my grandfather lives, and I really enjoyed my visit. If you’re looking for a quiet place for a nice walk along the cliffs or beach, it’s a lovely area. I can’t attest to how quiet it is in summer, but late spring was perfect–the grass was green, the sky blue, and the walk peaceful.
I’ll be sharing more memories of my Ireland trip in the future–and also a post (or three) of my three-day trip that took my sister and me to Dublin, Edinburgh, and England.