Tuesday, October 4, 2011

There be nothing there - only sea . . .

"Is this the road for Tawin?"  I asked the fellow as I passed by him.   My "Tay-win" seemed at first not to register with him but he was obviously a smart enough fellow to be able to make allowance for my extraordinary pronunciation.  "Tawn" he said, "is it Tawn you be looking for?  I told him that I probably was and he confirmed that if I carried on in the direction in which I had been travelling I would eventually reach "Tawn".  "But there be nothing there; only sea",  he told me.  "Sea will be fine",  I assured him.   And so it was.  West Tawin - a rather fine single arch stone bridge connects it to mainland East Tawin - is the the island tip of a low peninsular covered with fields divided by stone walls which stretches out into Galway Bay towards the Atlantic.   For a while I paddled around there on the amazingly soft lush turf contentedly lost in the huge land, sea and skyscapes all around and above me.  The hitherto persistent cloud was breaking up and clearing from the north.  I could see that Galway town, across the bay from me, was in bright sunshine; things were boding well for a fine evening.

And so yet again it was when, later, I stopped at Kinvara, a seaside town with a pretty harbour, across the water from which is a fine sixteenth century castle; yet another 'tourist attraction'. Adjacent to the castle is a rather more than adequate tarmacked and white-lined car and coach park.  I understand that tourist revenue is the only source of income with which to maintain venerable buildings and that the vast majority of twenty-first century tourists, myself included, tour in cars or coaches needing to be parked, but huge areas of tarmac, littered with ugly multicolored pressed steel and plastic vehicles do little to enhance the atmosphere and sense of history of a place.  Having achieved its raison d'être the 'attraction' becomes a victim of its attractiveness and enough of its integrity to become, for sensitive folk at least, something rather less than attractive.

For a long while I leaned on a harbour wall, bird watching and essaying to take acceptable photographs of the birds that were pecking about among the rock pools and seaweeds below; various gulls, curlew and plover.  My camera, I am sure, is well up to the task, the man behind the camera has yet much to learn about telephoto photography!

Just as I was about to climb into my car, which I had parked at the end of the harbour, and leave Kinvara a wedge of swans flew low and slow over the water passing within a few yards of my hiding place by the wall - a would-be photographer's version of the angler's 'one that got away' story!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Sea will be fine"