Indiana June is the main character in a real-life Pick-A-Path Adventure story. She is cycling the globe and letting people vote to decide what she does next. Her fate is in your hands so get voting to choose how the story unfolds. Read more…

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Saturday, 13 August 2011

Ballinskelligs: Basking in the creative light

Indiana June - real life pick a path adventurerIndiana June - real life pick a path adventurer

Distance covered: 32km

Rainbows spotted: 2

Times I was 'found' playing hide and seek:   4

Number of artists that have had residence in Ballinskelligs: 750

Spoonfuls of powdered potato soup swallowed: 2


After a week of rain, today the sun beamed from dawn until dusk and lifted the spirits of all the soggy campers. The winds were still too blustery to head out to Skelligs so I arranged to meet Kirsten, a couchsurfer from the small fishing town Ballinskelligs.

We met at the weekly Sunday farmers market and I was inspired by her story of how she gave up many of her material possessions for a simpler but richer life in this little village.

During the summer season Ballinskelligs swells with holiday-makers all hoping to catch a few illusive sun rays and waves at the beach. (They even have a surf life saving club here.) The market was full of interesting locally produced gastro and artistic delights. I tasted my first pickled sea spaghetti and was informed that seaweed used to be a big part of the old-Irish diet in these parts. Next I met two of the sweetest Irish girls with their own jewellery stall. They plait bracelets from embroidery thread and I bought one in Indiana June black and yellow for 60 cents.

I left the bike at the market and Kristen drove us up to the end of the peninsula and we hiked up to Bolus Head. It's hard to describe the view but every photo I took looked like it belonged on a postcard. The majestic views extended out to the rolling Atlantic (Hi America!) and the Blasket Islands unfolded before our eyes. The rolling Kerry hills are full of shy sheep which we tried unsuccessfully to pet. You can see the skelligs from here and also the tightknit family of Calf, Cow and Bull Island.

On our way back to Kirsten's house we passed several restored homes, abandoned during the famine, that are now the residences of international artists who come to Ballinskelligs. It's part of an art project called Cill Rialaig, set up in 1991 by Noelle Campbell Sharp. They get thousands of applications from creative people all over the world and  it has become custom for each artist to leave behind something they have produced during their stay. The work is sold a Siopa Chill Rialaig, a nearby art gallery which helps fund the project.

Kirsten cooked us a delicious meal of chicken and vegetables before I cycled back to Cahersiveen with rainbows guiding my way. My sleeping mattress seems to have sprung a leak so much to the amusement of fellow campers I tracked down the hole, fixed it and quite proud of myself hit the inflatable hay. By 2am I was lying flat on the ground so will have to have another crack at it today.

Latest Poll Results
New York: What will Indiana June do in the big apple?
21% Track down and visit Oliver Jeffers:
Renowned Children's storybook writer & illustrator
11% Walk the High Line:
A linear park built on a 1.45-mile section of the elevated NY Central Railroad 
11% Be a NYC detective for a day: 
Part game, theatre and tour to discover some of NYC's most off-the-beaten path spots
13% Explore the City Hall Subway Station: 
Abandoned & hidden from the public for 60 years
12% Flying trapeze class:
Hone her circus skills learning how to fly on a trapeze 
30% NZ Flag + Statue of Liberty:
Bodypaint the NZ flag on her body and go up the Statue of Liberty
2% Go to Queens and find a 'Nanny' sound-alike:
Video someone with the nanny accent saying "noo Zealand, i love that place"
Voting closed | 204 VOTES
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