Travel Theme : Grey

Bantry Bay on a grey day

Bantry Bay on a grey day

Ireland can be a place where there are a lot of ‘grey’ days, and showers, and clouds, but in spite of that, you can still see the natural beauty all along the coast.  The photo above was taken on a hike near Glengarriff, as we looked out over Bantry Bay, and the far off mountains, wondering would we make it back down the mountain before getting wet.

Kerry Mountains

Kerry Mountains

Hikers and hill walkers love the challenge of steep mountains like these, and in County Kerry there are plenty mountain ranges to satisfy all different levels of climbers.

Linked to Travel Theme : Grey

Animals in the Wild : A Photo A Week Challenge

This week, Nancy at Nancy Merrill Photography is looking for photos of Anmals that are not domestic, and I have a few from our holiday last year in the Zimbabwe bush.   We saw elephants, zebra, warthogs, hippo and many more, but one of the most exciting mornings was when we walked with lions in Antelope Park, a rehabilitation facility for orphaned lions.   Here are some of the photos of our walk.

The Lakes of Killarney

The scenic beauty of Killarney and its Lakes is familiar to many people, every years thousands of tourists, and locals, travel to Kerry to see the beauty of Killarney’s Lakes and waterfalls for themselves.   These photos were taken last May, on a climb of Torc mountain overlooking the Lakes.   I am going to Killarney again in a few days with Canadian visitors, some of whom have never been to Ireland previously, so they have a treat in store for them.   i will post more photos later this week.

A Hiking Holiday in Italy. Part One

Last week about 50 of us from our hill-walking club went on a hiking holiday in the Dolomites in Italy, and what a week it was, hiking uphill and down, taking the cable car to the top and then hiking down (a much better option), laughing, singing, (the hills really were alive with the sound of the ‘Fields of Athenry’  on more than one occasion) relaxing, eating lovely Italian food and ice cream, and drinking wine and cocktails, and then getting up at 7 a.m. next morning and doing it all again!

The Dolomites

The Dolomites

We were staying in a hotel in a ski resort, which was about 1600m above sea level, and as you can see, there was still snow on the top of the mountains.

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Our Italian guide, Maurizio,  was very knowledgeable about the  environment we were walking through, and one day we came across a tree that had been visited by a woodpecker, the birds tap away at the bark and  make holes so that they can eat the termites that live in the trees.  They can tell by the sound that their tapping makes whether there are termites inside or not, that is why you sometimes see a few smaller holes on the tree, that may have been abandoned.   Once the bird is satisfied with the size of the hole, he sticks his very long tongue into the hole and the termites stick to the surface of the tongue, and make a nice meal for him.    We didn’t see any woodpeckers, but we did come across a golden eagle, and our guide told us that there are about 8 breeding pairs in that forest.

Everywhere along the trails through the mountains, we came across little huts called Rifugios, but they are quite well equipped ‘huts’, most have accommodation, and serve delicious food and wine, and we usually bought our lunch in one of these rifugios, rather than bringing soggy sandwiches and a drink from the hotel.  There were plenty tables and benches where we could eat outside in the sunshine, and most of them supplied deck chairs so that we could linger awhile and rest our weary feet.   I wonder are other countries in Europe so well equipped to look after hikers in the mountains, Ireland has a long way to go in that respect.

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There was so much beauty everywhere we went, I will post more photos of hiking in the snow, and our visit to an old city called Bolzana, a winery, and Lake Garda.    It was a very busy week, I would say an activity packed week!

Rifugio

Rifugio

Riva del Garda, Italy

Riva del Garda, Italy

A view of Riva del Garda, from the ferry going across Lake Garda to Limone.

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Weekly Photo Challenge : In the Background

This week’s Photo Challenge asks us to share a picture that says in the background.

While taking a photo of trees by my back garden, just after a shower of rain, this lovely rainbow appeared, which really overshadows everything else in the photograph.

Image

Image

The photo above, taken on a wintry day, shows the background sunset over the mountains, a far more interesting shot than the bare branches in the foreground.

you can see more here:

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/weekly-photo-challenge-in-the-background/

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award, and me!

I was recently nominated for this  award by Ajaytao2010, whose blog can be seen here, he has some fabulous pictures on his blog, and it is well worth a look.   Thank you Ajay!

The rules for accepting the award are:

1. Display the award logo on your blog (top).
2. Link back to the person who nominated you 
3. State 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

Here are 7 things about me:

1.  I was born in Ireland, moved away to Africa in my twenties, (a long time ago!)  and have been back  ‘home’ in Ireland now for about 10 years.

2. I love travel, and recently spent a month with friends in family in South Africa and Zimbabwe, 2 countries with spectacular scenery.

3. When I first came back to Ireland 10 years ago, the thing I missed most was the constant sunshine, and warmth – probably something I took for granted while living in a warm climate.

4. I have 4 children, all born in Africa, and  3 adorable grandchildren who live in Norway, I try to visit them whenever I can, and being able to connect to them on Skype is the next best thing to being there.

5. I have been blogging since December, and am totally addicted to catching up with fellow bloggers and reading their posts.

6. I have been semi-retired since the end of November, and love the freedom from a 9 -5 routine.

7.  I am joined a hill-walking club, and about 50 of us are going walking in the Dolomites in Italy in early July, and I am really looking forward to that.

Walking in West Cork

Walking in West Cork

 The following are  the blogs that I nominate, because they have made me laugh, made me go ‘wow’, made me envious, made me amazed, and inspired me.  It was difficult to choose, as all the blogs I follow have something that appeals to me.  So, as they say in all the best  tv shows, here they are – in no particular order:-

Gasm Travels

Bel’Occhio’s Blog

Retireediary

Englishman in Italy

Dont4get2smile2day

Wildsherkin

Bucket List Publications

23thorns

Live Simply, Travel Lightly, Love Passionately and Don’t forget to breathe

The Worlds Top 10 of anything and everything

The Cheeky Diva

PraguebyKaty

Africa Far and Wide

Life Out of the Box

Natalie Elizabeth Beech

Strelitzia - Bird of Paradise, my favourite exotic flower

Strelitzia – Bird of Paradise, my favourite exotic flower

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