In 2017, Why Not Visit Us in Eyeries? We'd Love It
I don't think I've ever mentioned it but here where we live, in the small village of Eyeries, way out on the Beara Peninsula in Southwest Ireland (just about as far southwest as you can get), we run a small tent camping operation. And when I say small, I mean small.
Each summer we turn the back garden into a campground. Visitors from all parts of the world make their way here mostly by foot, bicycle and even kayak (yes, we've had visitors come to us that way). God knows how they hear about us or learn that we even exist. We don't advertise nor do we want to. Most see the small sign which hangs on the front of the house. These poor souls, usually exhausted by their staunch efforts of journeying to Eyeries, often set up tents in the backyard, then stagger the few feet up the hill to Causkey's, our local pub, for much needed refreshment.
Not many stay with us. And frankly that suits us just fine. That way we can spend real time getting to know the people who live in our garden if only for a night or two, and along the way we've made so many friends - guys and gals travelling on their own from Holland or Germany. Couples hiking the Beara Way along the coast who came from South Africa and made it over the rugged hills between us and the coastal village of Allihies further down the peninsula. The older couple from New Zealand who stayed with us for two nights, went on their way, then came back to us a few nights later because they missed it so much.
We've had families from Dublin and painters from France. College students taking a break from their studies in Spain, and retired people visiting from England. We've had Americans, Canadians, Egyptians, folks from Israel, Scouts from Switzerland, a bunch of German lads who sent us bottles of Pilsner when they returned home to thank us, and even a family from the Isle of Man who unfortunately did not bring along their Manx cat. All are people with good hearts and good tales of their travels, and each one has provided us with a memory we cherish.
People like Johan (pictured above), a Dutch traveller on a bicycle who landed in Dublin and made his way down, down, down into the Southwest to finally land on our doorstep to spend some time with us. Fully rested, he continued his tour around Ireland. His trip was obviously rewarding. Only today, on this final day of 2016, he sent us a video of his travels.
Sometimes I forget how fortunate we are to live in Eyeries. The people who visit with us constantly remind me of the natural glories which surround us: The startling views of nearby Coulagh Bay in the first light of dawn. The shrill voices of gulls crying as they circle overhead, gliding on the soft winds without effort. The curtained gales which march in from the west, blasting the village in a ferocious frenzy.
Then the sunset, and a glory rarely beheld. Only to be bettered by the darkness of the night. The sky bejewelled in a million glittering pin drops of starlight. The Milky Way a gossamer curtain painted with a telling brush across the firmament. Sometimes, standing in that quiet, I truly believe I can reach up through the night sky and touch the face of God.
That's what it's like, living here in Eyeries. We don't have to travel far to be one with nature. Instead, we live in it. I guess that's what people remember when they visit us. They remember the humbling views of the Bay and the soft evening song as birds fall asleep. They remember, I think, the starkness of the white cumulus clouds rolling overhead. They also remember the people of this small village nestled between rocky hills and a vast ocean. And for a moment I like to think that we can all simply breath.
Thank you for visiting us, Johan. Thank you everyone who has visited with us and stayed in our small back garden. We hope your travels here have given you peace. Certainly, you all have given us memories to treasure.
2017 Edition Now Available! A Survivor's Guide to Living in Ireland 2017
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