Monday, April 6, 2009

Drishane Brewery day trip: Gougane Barra and the hungry mountain people of West Cork

Howdy Folks, my first post for april is now arriving, after an exhausting night of hanging around the beer bars of cork city Morgan the Drishane brewery accountant and I decided that it was high time that we went on another Drishane Brewery Sanctioned Day Trip. So we headed to the brews mobile and we were off. not knowing where you are going is a trait which we have come to associate with Sundays. its great, sun beating down, music on the radio, except one thing the severe lack of food, so we decided that we had better head west in search of food.


Leaving from cork city we had arrived in ballincollig area when we decided that we would go to The chapel at Gougane Barra. somewhere along the way we believed that we might be able to stop for something to eat. at this point i should point something out, Morgan has decided to give up fast food for a period of time which meant that we were not allowed to venture near some of the wonderfully filthy looking roadside burger and chip trailers that i would have happily settled for, oh no we had to have proper food served in a restaurant of some sort. somewhere along the way to gougane barra I spotted a sign saying that thre was a toy soldier factory in the vicinity and helpfully it had a little arrow on it, We both said it might be cool to check it out and so promptly followed the arrow, after driving about 5 minutes we realised that this particular route seemed to be getting smaller and smaller as we went round each turn, also we appeared to be going uphill at a drastic rate, multiple signs promising our imminent arrival at the toy soldier factory had passed before we get to a cross roads with a sign saying that the toy soldier factory was now only six minutes away ( if you are going as the crow flies by rocket ship that is) half an hour later we arrived in the nice village of cill na martra, this thankfully is where the toy factory was situated, unfortunately it was shut and the village was jammed with people and cars as we had just happened to arrive at he end of what must have been a good GAA match. we exited the village by the only possible escape route,
following a seemingly confident skoda driver we ventured on this road which got increasingly worse and worse until that is we ended up in a farmyard, the skoda turned as did we but only to find that the skoda had disappeared without a trace, we backtracked along the road until we came to a grassy crossroad, and took a left, this is where it began to get a little creepy, we met a solitary man who looked to be dangerous enough to even scare hardned culchies such as ourselves, he promptly walked in the middle of the road and refused to budge inwards, As quickly as the road would allow i passed the unpleasant personn and carried on into the mountain, the scenery was brilliant, not a house or any sign of civilisation for miles. after some time driving on the mountain we decided to try our best to get back on track as our bellies were rumbling and the day wasn't getting any longer, we eventually made our way to Inchigeeligh via some road that is not on the map above. here we encountered Creedons lots and lots of them. thay appeared to run everything in the village, the hotel, the newsagents, the haulage comapany, the doctors surgery all Creedons, we decided to go into the Hotel for some grub to tide us over.
There was no food to be ha which we soon found out seemed to be the norm for the whole village both newsagents closed the cafe closed nothing open but the hotel and all they were serving to feed ya was pints of stout, since i couldn't drink we politely left after a swift pint of coca cola.
this seemed to be the them for the next village in our trip too, Ballingeary a larger village but still no food although the local shop was open, we ventured inside and all there was to be had was biscuits and marsbars. with Morgans ban on Fastfoods these were not allowed either plus i got the distinct feeling from the lady behind the counter that we had just woken her from hibernation and she was not happy about it. by this stage we had come to the conclusion that we were not going to get fed, and that the mountain dwelling people of west cork must be a mighty hungry bunch indeed.
Onwards to gougane barra which was as good to walk around these days as i remember it was as a child, lots of other people had come too and there was a steady stream of visitors all the time we were there, the rest of the day though had been so irritatingly annoyingly odd and interesting driving that arriving at our destination lacked a little, after the obligatory photos had been taken we went and visited Ireland's top toilet 2002 which is situated across the road from the picturesque island chapel of gougane barra.
After this we headed back to the city
where we promptly headed to the city centre to get some food, into zanzibaar, ordered grub, recieved our grub and the only thing i could think of was the hungry mountain people of West Cork that we encountered on our way to Gougane Barra.


  1. Great stuff!

    This is what should be in all those Fáilte Ireland ads: a taste of the real, unspoilt, unfed, rural Ireland.

    More of this kind of thing please, though you can bring sambos next time out.

  2. That's a great post. I've had this happen a few times where you're mad hungry and not even a mars bar in sight. As the Beer Nut says when I venture to this part of the country I'll bring the tay and sandwiches to eat from the boot of car.

  3. Good post beeristhereason. I enjoyed it. Reminds me of the time we went to Galway, you, paul and myself. That day food wasn't happening either lol here in Oz. I should be back for October Fest!!!! This time I won't show up late to be greeted by ye well juiced up, this time I'll be there on time to be well juiced also lol
    Oh yeah cheers for the call, tell Moggie we had a grt chat lol
    Take it easy,

    Your Australian Drishane Correspondent.

    Any place ye want me to check out in Sydney give me a Bell. I got some Paulaner beer in the Argyle in the Rocks area in Sydney. I was well chuffed.

  4. thanks for the positive comments folks, it was a fun but hungry day, i think seeing irelands top toilet of 2002 had to be my personal highlight though lol ;-)