Map - 13

Tuesday July 2nd ’19. 13th day in the saddle.

Today was rough. Actually, it was very rough. In fact, it was very, very rough.

I pulled a muscle in my right calf straining to get up and over the many, many, many hills I encountered today. There was so much uphill, and the inclines were so steep, that I'm almost tempted to say it was one continuous hill. Designed to break me.

I left the Desert camping grounds very late, as I was writing up my previous blogs, and got on the road around 14:30. The first part of the journey was exciting. An adventure. I cycled through the Castlefreke Woods. Brown trees, with emerald green leaves and clear floors dusted with  thin layer of undergrowth, twigs and leaves, all dappled in sunlight, with warm inviting aromas, smelling of nature at it's finest. I happened upon a small bridge leading to an interesting sign, "The Village Well". The bridge crossed a tiny stream, and led to a softly winding path up the hill to an old stone structure. I am not able to find any information on this well, so if anybody comes up with anything, please let me know.

Bridge to the The Village Well - Castlefreke County Cork
On the bridge to the The Village Well - Castlefreke County Cork
The Village Well - Castlefreke County Cork
The Village Well - Castlefreke County Cork - close

I kept cycling through the Woods and stopped off at the local Post Office to buy an ice cream. Outside, was an old telephone box. There's just something about these old telephone boxes that draws me in. So, of course I had to take the photo.

Old Irish telephone box - landscape

After enjoying my cool, delicious, iced treat, I kept going through the woods. Once I came out on the other side, I saw the old Castlefreke Castle sitting up on a hill. I pulled over to the side of the road, and climbed onto a fence dividing the road from the cows in the field. The cows looked at me as if I was an oddity, and then resumed their busy life of munching on the delectable grass.

I climbed the fence to gain some height, to get a better photo. It's not that I'm short, after all my feet do reach the ground (unless I'm sitting on a chair, and then the gap between my feet and the floor lays waste to that idea), but being that I would need a 6' ladder to get out of a 4' hole, the fence really came in handy.


After a little while of cycling, I came upon a beach called Owenahincha Beach, at the foot of Owenahincha Town. The beach is 2 beautiful beaches divided by a rocky outcropping, with a lifeguards tower at the beach head overlooking both beaches. I asked the lifeguards if I could fly my drone there, but unfortunately, due to privacy laws, they couldn't allow me to.
The sand on the beach was a mixture of beige and black sand with shells and plenty of small pebbles.

Owenahincha Beach - County Cork - BW
Owenahincha Town - County Cork - BW
Surf Rescue board on Owenahincha Beach County Cork - BW
Surf Rescue board on Owenahincha Beach County Cork - BW - angled - selective color

This was where the going got tough. I hit the hills and struggled along, sometimes walking my bicycle, and sometimes riding it. But at all times, I felt like I couldn't go further. The pain in my right calf went from an ache, to a dull throbbing ache to a sharp knot of piercing pain. I realized that I had pulled the muscle in my calf, and I couldn't go much further. At the same time, I was cycling right past the entrance to the Drombeg Stone Circle, and pain or no pain, being one of Irelands most visited megalithic sites, I had to make a detour. This is also known as the Druid's Altar, and from carbon dating, it appears that it was in use around 2900-3000 years ago, in 1100-800 BCE.

Every December 21st, on the Winter's Solstice, the sun sets at a conspicuous notch in the horizon that the mid point of one of the rocks points to.

The views of the mountains, farms and fields were laid out gloriously below.

Dromberg Circle - County Cork
Drombeg Circle aiming at December 21st sun - County Cork
Drombeg circle - little planet
Drombeg circle - little cave
Houses in fields near Drombeg Circle - County Cork
House in hills - near Drombeg Circle

I got back on my bicycle, and tentatively started cycling. The pain was quite intense, so I gingerly made my way up the hill and and back onto the main road. I headed off towards Glandore and found a small, but homely B&B with a beautiful view to hole up in the next couple of days, to rest and recover. The owners Joe and Phil were very warm and welcoming. There'll be more photos over the next few days showing more of the Glandore area. In the meantime, enjoy these few from around sunset.

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Small fishing boat in rocky cove - Glandore County Cork - BW

I'd love to know which one you prefer, the color (below) or black and white (above), please let me know in the comments below.

Small fishing boat in rocky cove - Glandore County Cork
Synchronized rowers - silhouette - Glandore - County Cork
Unionhall harbour at twilight
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2 thoughts on “Stoned.”

  1. Hi Bruce

    I hope that you are making a good recovery. I’ve certainly learned something that I didn’t know, given that I have never cycled around Ireland. It’s a lot more hilly that I ever realised.

    Your photographs are stunning and most times I prefer the color photos and when you do post a black & white version too, it adds to the overall image by highlighting the colors in the color photo but highlighting the contours in the b&w image. The drone photos are so interesting and such a pity that you couldn’t fly over the beach.

    Kind regards and here’s wishing you a speedy recovery.

    1. Hi Dr Cummings,
      The truth is, it’s even hillier than I realized, even from tracing my routes carefully on google maps street view. Plus, coming from Florida, where everything is basically flat, there’s no way to train properly in similar conditions.
      Do you think I should post the colour as well as the black white versions in general? I sometimes find that the color distracts from the simplicity of the image, whereas the B&W images convey the shape, and character of the landscape without the clutter. Of course, though, art is subjective, and everyone has different opinions, which are all valid.
      Thank you for the good wishes.

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