Friday, 9 September 2011

Cape Clear Storytelling Festival

Cape Clear is an unspoilt piece of heaven off the west coast of Cork.  For the last 17 years,
Cape Clear has hosted the Cape Clear Storytelling festival.  Dublin Library Diva went along
to this years international Storytelling festival to hear some stories and check out the beautiful

How to get there:
A ferry can be gotten from Baltimore in West Cork (the Wire reference was not
lost on me).  A pleasant 45 mins later and you are in Cape clear.  A return journey from
Baltimore to Cape Clear costs 15 euro.  A 10% discount is available if you book online.

About 130 people inhabit Cape Clear.  All of the locals i met were very friendly and
hospitable towards visitors.  The Storytelling festival attracts a couple of hundred people
onto the island every year.

Visitors wishing to stay over night have a variety of options available to them.  Looking for
comfort and privacy:  B and B's and Guesthouses are the way to go.  Looking for comfort and
good value for money?  Tir na nog hostel ran by Michael O' Driscoll is an excellent Choice.
Geraldine stayed here and availed of Bed and Breakfast for 25 euro.  The rooms are basic but
comfortable and the breakfast was excellent.  Proper full Irish with all the trimmings was served
in a buzzing breakfast room.  Busy weekend in Cape Clear.  Maeve and the rest of the girls were hardier
and opted to Camp in the camp site.  Visitors to the campsite have the option to bring their own tent
or hire the use of a tipee or a yurt.  Hire of a tipee is 20 euro per person per night.

Food and Drink:
Feeling peckish after pitching your tent? Sean rua's cafe bar on the north side of the harbour
serve tasty hearty meals and delicious desserts with a friendly service.  Tip: you have to
be up pretty early in the morning to get the berry crumble which seemed to be constantly
sold out.  The chocolate fudge cake is pretty good too.

Story Telling Festival:
The festival is a 3 day extravaganza of international renown.  A great programme
of story swaps, concerts, historical walks and talks are organized every year.
Interested in history and nature?  Join the heritage walk with Diarmuid O'Drisceoill.
Want to improve your storytelling performance skills?  take part in the workshop in emotion and
intuition in performance storytelling.  Wondering how to entertain the kids?  take them along to
children workshops.  More intereted in Music and dancing than storytelling?  Banjo sessions and set
dancing afternoons abound.

Dublin Library Diva loved Storyswap at Ciaran Danny Mike's on Saturday afternoon.  Sitting out
in the beer garden, drink in hand, being entertained by talented storytellers from around the globe
who generously share their tales with the audience.  The inimitable Pat Speight presided over the
event with warmth and quick wit.  The relaxed atmosphere meant that people could come and go as
they pleased listening to a story or three on their way. Dublin Library diva loved the glamourous
Storyteller from Dublin and her rap to 50year old women everywhere.

                                                                   David Holt 

Saturday Evening Concert:
Mc Jack Lynch presided over the evenings entertainment.  Roy Arbuckle, Graham
langley, Kate Corkery, David Holt and Sheila Stewart performed to a full house.
Unfortunately Geraldine missed half the concert because she was doing her make up
and trying to decide what shoes to wear, leading Maeve to quip that she was the
'champagne backpacker'. At the intermission mugs of tea, glasses of wine and tubs
of goats milk ice cream were served for a small donation.
The secound half of the Concert was brilliant:  David Holt entertained the
crowd with his stories and his banjo playing.  The song 'let it slide' entertained
an appreciative crowd who empathised with the advice on how to deal with a marital skirmish.
David Holt travels around the world with his Banjo and his tales.  Join him for an evening
of entertainment this Saturday at the Odessa.
Sheila Stewart comes from a long line of scottish travellers and regalled the chrowd with
ancient ballads when are in danger of being lost forever.

Cape clear was buzzing this weekend, there are two bars on the island, Ciaran Danny
Mike's near the South Harbour and Sean Rua's cafe bar on the North Harbour.  Both bars
were hopping to the early hours.  Sean Rua's bar had a brass band pumping out tunes,
Ciaran Danny Mike's had an impromptu sessiun with a few guitars.  Dublin library diva
hopped between venues via a vino fueled ramble down the harbour.

The island is an area of great beauty and it would be a shame to go home without
seeing this part of the country properly.  Sunday was spent hiking round the majestic
gleann rua loop.  The rocky landscape and the panoramic views were awesome.  After
packing up our bags we wandered uphill towards the lake at the centre of the island.
The rocky, hilly landscape may be great for walking but cycling would not be advisable.

Tempted to check out cape clear?  Library diva recommends checking it out at festival
time.  There is the storytelling festival on every September and a Walking-talking festival on
every may.

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