Clonakilty is a medium-sized town in West Cork famous for its black pudding and other gourmet foods. We had planned to catch up with Alison and Brian, a couple of Kiwi expats from Hamilton who have lived here for many years. Unfortunately Brian was away in Europe on a business trip but Alison very kindly showed us around the town.
First up was the Stone Circle at Drombeg. This is a mystical place about 3000 years old, sometimes referred to as “The Druids Altar”. Although any mysticism we might have encountered there was greatly diluted by a swarm of bussed-in tourists clambering all over it.
Then it was on to the curiously-named town of Union Hall via Glandore, both set around a picturesque harbour.
We travelled on to Inchydoney Beach where Pip just had to feel the sand under her feet, after which we popped up to the rather posh hotel on the headland for a light tea. Then it was back to Clonakilty itself for a walking tour of the town. Alison had lots of fascinating stories about past and present Clonakilty. We briefly visited a couple of pubs – de Barra’s, which was charmingly cluttered with every imaginable artefact, and O’Donovan’s which has been in the same family for the past 200 years. On the reception counter we met the current O’Donovan in charge, Dena (“If you want to know anything about anything in Clonakilty, just ask Dena,” says Alison.)