Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Tent spots

As we get into Dingle on day 29 we are of course a bit tired after a long day paddling with low visibility. It's a headwind coming into the bay and we want to be close to the town. We pull up onto a small little island on the edge of the harbour perfect for camping but we would get cut off from the main land on high water. So we go and check out the marina. There is a lovely bit of grass behind a barrier right off the slip. So we carry out boats and decide to put up our tent after dark. A couple, friends of Jon come and say Hi and give us the key to the changing rooms. Lovely. After a night sleep we get woken up. Not too early thankfully. 'No camping here!' I try the story we are paddling around Ireland. And he left. Oh well.. We had already camped there now. 

So day 30 we pack down our tent, had breakfast in the cafe and head onto the water. We didn't seen the dolphin and after seeing how crazy the tourist boats were driving we got quickly from there.. Well not so quickly as we were paddling surprisingly into a head wind. After exploring the impressive cliffs coming out of Dingle we head to the blaskets. There is a well hidden slip way to the left of the beach.. Pretty steep. Our boats did try and escape us a few times whilst unpacking. There is a great ledge to put up the tent. We secure the kayaks and are set for the evening. Whilst eating our dinner there were a show of seals in the water popping their heads up. Frida also noticed there were many over at the beach. We decide to have a evening walk to notice there were loads on the beach. We dart down there to get as close as we could. The second largest seal colony in Ireland. It was amazing. A must if you are ever paddling here.

Day 31 we wake up to the little bugs flying around so we quickly pack up and get on the water. Finally a following sea and wind in the back. We get around to Bally David with good cruising speed.
Bit wet but we get there. We get our boats up and have a look for camp spots. We had been told to ask in the hostel if we could put our tent up in their garden. But we noticed they didn't have a garden. But we found a nice bit of grass around an old Lifeboat house so we asked if anyone knew the land owner. And word got around in the pub.. Someone had made a phone call.. We were allowed if we fed the donkey a packet of crisps. Joke or not we got the donkey a packet of crisps.

Day 32 heading around towards Brandon Bay. Tall cliffs and not many options for landing but we had read of a slip way just two hours from Bally David and a possible beach after another two hours. Getting around to the slip we were paddling against the tide so we decide to have a sunbath and wait for the tide to change. We met a lovely family on a rib who invited us to join them. After a few hours we get back on the water and make it round to Brandon Bay. Brandon Bay not being the easiest for camping either if you are trying to avoid the sand. Quite populated by the pier we head over to the small bridge where there are some farmers fields. Big signs 'no camping!' I did ask nicely and we were granted permission but we ended up camping next to the small river. With quite a gradient on the tent. Luckily we didn't end up in the river.

Day 33 we have a relaxing morning. I go to the pub and Frida goes for a hike. Then later we decide to paddle out of the bay to get a better start for our crossing to Loop head. Paddling up the river at high tide was great. But coming out on low tide meant a bit of a carry. Mmm.. Anyway we get on the water and head towards Straggnie Bay. Getting closer to our landing spot Frida mentions something about a boat.. I'm like where? To turn my head to find a boat meters behind me. Shit! I did paddle as 
quick as I could until I realised they had seen us. And to our surprise it was the rib we had met the day before. So when we landed at Straggnie Bay we were invited for a bbq. Nice! Thanks very much! And a few glasses of red wine.

So after the bbq and a few glasses of wine it's late and we have to put up our tent. Knowing we are going to wake at 0700 to get onto the water. We end up putting our tent up on the slip way not being able to peg it down but find a few heavy rocks for the doors. We jump into our tent to hold it down. After about an hour there comes a car who decided to open its windows and play very loudly Irish folk music.. Lovely.. Thanks for that.. Then a few hours after that the wind starts howling and our tent starts making a racket. No sleep for us. The alarm goes off and we decide today is not the day to cross to loop head. We move our tent and take a walk up the hill. And it was blowing. Yep we will stay on land. It's died down a bit now but looking to blow up again for the next few days so we could be here for a few more days. 

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