The second day began with what was a very generous gesture from the owner of the B&B in which we stayed in Rosscarbery, who donated a substantial amount of our bill to Fields of Life. During our conversation at breakfast, she told us about some weeks previously when her 7 year old daughter, Aoife, had spoken about what she would do if she won the Lottery. She said she would give her mummy and daddy ten thousand Euros each, her brother five thousand Euros and the rest she would give to charity. Aoife had suggested to her the previous evening that since those nice two people were working for a charity, she should give something to them. It was a further example of the incredible 'goodness' - an archaic word perhaps - but nevertheless an accurate description of how we were treated in deBarra Lodge. If anyone reading this has plans to stay in or visit West Cork - go there! What a start to the journey.
Ken at deBarra Lodge
While Ken headed off to Leap, Glanore and Skibbereen, I returned to Clonakilty to make my Michael Collins pilgrimage. I've been intrigued by Collins for many years and he definitely would be very close to the top of the list of four people from history I would like to invite to dinner.
Recently, I witnessed two customers in Waterstone's book shop in Lisburn almost coming to blows as, standing in the queue at the tills, they realised that one was buying a book about Collins and the other about de Valera. They expressed their opinions on each others choice loudly and with a considerable amount of vective - even after almost a century since Collins' death. In any case, the Collins Centre is well worth a visit, irrespective of your politics. However, my visit to Beal na mBlath will have to wait until the next time I'm in Cork.
Ken and I met up again in Skibbereen. A beautiful town centre has been ambushed by every 'superstore' known to mankind, and they encircle the town waiting to pounce on the increasingly fewer, I imagine, local shops. What a delight it was, therefore, to find a place like 'Good Things'. It's a coffee shop, a wine store, an art gallery, a cookery school and probably much more besides. They were also interested to hear about Ken's WAW expedition and took literature on it and Fields of Life in general.
We separated again, as I left the WAW to do some more photography and Ken continued through Ballydehob, Schull, Toormore and we agreed to meet up again in Crookhaven. On my adventures I arrived in Castletownends, a truly spectacularly beautiful place with a street/road running down to a harbour which has a gradient of 1 in 8 or maybe 1 in 10. "I will return" - as someone once said.
Crookhaven is advertised as the most southerly place in Ireland where you can sup a pint of Guinness. Be that as It may, it was a delight to sit in the sunshine and for Ken to have a bit of a rest before the ride to Mizen Head, the most southerly point in Ireland.
Ken approaching Mizen Head
At Mizen Head we met a fellow photographer whose speciality is bird photography and who had flown to Cork from Wales that morning to hopefully find and photograph rare specimens which had been spotted on Mizen Head. Not quite sure whether the pair of us were what he had in mind. However, when he heard what Ken was doing for Fields of Life he offered a signed bird photograph to be auctioned at the next Fields of Life event.
The response to what Ken is doing for Fields of Life has been incredibly positive. Long may it continue.