A Tourism Without Visiting ?

Okay, so the headline isn’t altogether precise.

What I really mean is, should we not be moving to a type of tourism, in which the visitor doesn’t necessarily get to actually visit everything he or she has come for ? By that, I mean not get to walk on or in the “main attraction”. Or at least, part of it.

The world’s national parks and nature reserves seem to be ever more opened to development. Headlines are all across the internet of “ABC Corp opens $ 300 m resort in XYZ nature reserve”, etc.

I find it can work just as well to introduce a place to people, then bring them so far, explain why we’re not going any further and move away. An example of this would be Tern breeding grounds on pebble beaches. Another would be  seal breeding beaches. Yet another would be delicate wetland habitats.

Sometimes, we come across board walks, for example jutting out into wetlands, so the humans can encroach that bit more and get a better ‘feel’ for the place. But do we need them ? Wouldn’t it be just as good to walk simply to the edge and have a knowledgeable expert explain what goes on inside ? Or perhaps build a sensitively designed, maybe somewhat camouflaged low watch tower on that edge ?

Do we need to place candles inside those 2,000 + year old cairns atop the remote hill ? Maybe we should stop 5 m short of the entrance and simply wonder at the magnificence.

Visiting – yes, but in part and not at all costs.

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Hiking Up and Around Nephin Beg

Here is a video I made of my hike up and around Nephin Beg mountain and the twin Scardaun Loughs last Saturday.

I hope the video gives you an idea of what this landscape is like.

Section 2 is from on the top of the 627 m mountain, with the camera facing directly west. The result is very strong wind, so you might like to tone down the volume just for that section.

Next Walking Dates for Mayo

Iniskea South island, Mayo, Ireland

Iniskea South island, Mayo, Ireland

Our three day walking event in North Mayo will next be run from Fri June 19 thru Sun June 21.

We had a really nice small group for the event last weekend and are looking forward to running another, perhaps a little drier, three days next time.

For further information, call me on 094 – 9027797, or email me on info [at] tourismpure [dot] com.

Alternatively, have a look at the entries below, “A Great Weekend in Mayo” and “Wild Mayo in May”.

Wild Mayo in May

Friday May 15 thru Sunday May 17 :

Join us on three wonderful days walking in Wild Mayo in Ireland’s West.

Forest track, Sheskin, Mayo

Forest track, Sheskin, Mayo

Friday – A five hour hike through the largest area of land in Ireland with no through road. Discover the vast bogs and enormous conifer plantations of Sheskin, Central Mayo. Try your hand at some red deer tracking, maybe spot some elusive otters or red grouse, stand in total silence and take in the sheer scale of the place.

 

 

Wild weather, Iniskea Islands, Mayo

Wild weather, Iniskea Islands, Mayo

Saturday – Take the boat out to the South Iniskea Island off the west coast of Mayo and Europe and stroll around for the day, taking in the wildlife and seascapes of this beautiful island. Observe the varied marine bird species of this uninhabited spot. Wander around the deserted houses long since abandoned.

 

 

The Mullet Peninsula, Mayo - a great place for walking

The Mullet Peninsula, Mayo - a great place for walking

Sunday – Some nice relaxing walks around the Mullet peninsula, west of Belmullet town, Coastal Mayo, including on the beaches looking west over the wild Atlantic.

Stay two nights in an environmentally friendly bed and breakfast out on the Mullet, heated by geothermal renewable energy and solar panels.

 

This long weekend will bring you back to a place of peace in these turbulent times.

You will need some stamina for the long walks, a genuine sense of adventure and deep love of the outdoors. Bring good hiking boots and layers of clothing for the ever changing weather of Ireland’s West coast. Enjoy. It’ll be great.

Price : Euro 285 per person. Accommodation is in twin bedrooms. Price includes all accommodation, breakfast and full dinner, packed lunches on each day, transport to and from Castlebar, boat to and from islands, full guiding throughout. You just get yourself to Castlebar by 10.00 on Friday, May 15th.

Places are strictly limited to first 11 only.

Call or contact me for further details.

Ah, Sheskin

It had been 3 or 4 years since the last time I had wandered all the way up to Sheskin in north Mayo. So the other day, having an appointment in Béal an Mhuirthead later on, I decided to spend some hours up there.

Sheskin forms part of the complex locked between Crossmolina, Béal an Mhuirthead, Belderg and Ballycastle. At around 500 km2, it is the largest area of Ireland without a single through road. Hugely planted with coniferous forest by Coillte, nevertheless the area has its attraction. Dubbed Ireland’s “Big Sky Country”, because of the vast bogs, whoever coined the term had clearly never stood inside one of these enormous plantations.

Red Grouse

Red Grouse

It rained a  soft rain on me throughout my 4 hour walk. But then, that’s normal. I was delighted to come across two Red Grouse, a load of Red Deer tracks, what might have been an Owl (I can’t confirm because it flew away from me through the trees and I have little to go on, other than its size), so much Frog spawn that it protrudes well above the water line in many places and two wonderful Grey Wagtail doing their thing over one of the many little rivers that flow through the place.

Grey Wagtail

Grey Wagtail

The Grey Wagtail, with its splendid bright yellow breast and underparts, sits on a rock or wire above the stream, or indeed on a rock in it. It feeds on insects and, when on the rock, sort of jumps up at the insect from below. Strange for a bird really.

I took these images from the UK’s RSPB website.

Anyway, thrilled with my Grey Wagtails, I got back into my car and, day dreaming, drove her off the narrow track into the ditch. It took me 40 minutes to get her out and I arrived for my appointment just a tad dirty.