When staying in Anagry in County Donegal, I took the opportunity to strike out by myself for a couple of hours one morning. Off I went, beyond the dune flanked runway of Carrickfinn Airport. I pulled over near some long abandoned farm machinery, checked the map and struck out for the closest curved beach. I joined a well worn track, passing calves and their mothers, on I went over the rise and took in the beauty of the scene before me.
Not a single person stood on the fine white sand ahead and no footprints to mark the newly washed beach, the tide now on its way out. Then just as soon as I had jumped on to the virgin sand, a couple of women came ambling down another slope, making their way to the same beach. How dare they! So I got a few shots away of the beach, before it became marked once more.
We soon struck up a conversation and it turned out that one of the ladies had lived there nearly all her life. She told tales of how other children would swim off the beach in the morning and, along with her own children, would fly into her house and have a hearty breakfast. She was a mine of wonderful information. The scene in the image above is of that beach, but also depicts a darker secret.
The isle in the centre is marked at its peak by a plain wooden cross. Lower down the slope is another cross, painted white. Here is where the unbaptised babies would be buried. All in a scene as pretty as this.
So if you want to know more of a place that you are visiting, talk to a local.