Tracashel

Strand of the Stone Fort

Our introduction to Beara peninsula was a turn onto R572, Sugarloaf Road, from Glenarriff, drive a few minutes to encounter this view view. So stupendous, we parked on a convenient turnoff. The Irish name for the townland is Thrá Chaisil, Tracashel in English. The meaning is “Strand of the Stone Fort.” A prosaic name is “Stone Fort Beach.” Here we look across Bantry Bay,

The location, lost for years, was rediscovered from this photograph. A signed place name. An unmapped place name, surprisingly.

Using date/time stamps, working backward from the Adrigole photograph of yesterday’s post, I used the Google Maps to navigate the route from Glenarriff to find the sign post and turnoff. The harbor in question (“Cuan” is Irish for bay) is named for the adjacent townland, Coolieragh, “An Chúil Iarthach” in Irish, translated as “Western Nook.”

The non-existant “Seal Harbor” is a hopeful renaming by some entrepreneur.

Another view across Bantry Bay.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Adrigole

Famine Road

Driving the Beara Peninsula of western County Cork Pam and I were lucky enough to encounter a famine road traversing the Healy Pass. Formerly known as Kerry Pass, renamed in honor of Timothy Michael Healy, the first Governor-General, Irish Free State when the road was improved in 1932 shortly after his death. In Irish the name is Bealach Scairte.

Built by workers from the starving poor during the Potato Famine of the 19th century, one of the government projects to provide relief and improve infrastructure. This photograph is from where Healy Pass, R574, begins from the town Adrigole, County Cork. The mountain is the highest of the Caha Mountains of the Beara peninsula, is known by several names: “Adrigole Mountain,” “Hungry Hill,” “Cnoc Daod,” “Knockday,”j and “Knockdhead.” “Hungry Hill” is also a 1943 novel by Daphne du Maurier, thought to be set on the Beara peninsula.

The water is the Adrigole River.

References

Wikipedia articles for “Timothy Michael Healy” and “Healy Pass.”

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Santa Elf Spotted…..

….on paddle board.

She was captured via IPhone coming…..

….and going on the Cayuga Inlet off Cass Park, Ithaca, New York, on a December afternoon.

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

With and Without People

always without water

Pampa del Tamarugal National Reserve

Getty requires a signed photo release for each human in a photograph.

For this, the single best overview from our time with the Pintado Geoglyphs, I carefully painted out every human figure, our fellow tourists.

Here are the versions with and without human figures.

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Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Geoglyph Panorama

Rain never falls here

Pampa del Tamarugal National Reserve

Eternal high clouds that never yield water, we visited these hills just off the Pan American highway, to view shapes formed by moving stones.

The shapes are multifarious, mysterious and majestic. Hundreds of them, rendered for reasons known only to the makers.

I stitched together five images to yield an overall impression.

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Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Ghost of a Ghost Town

A place that exists because of water and a roa

Adolfo Tapia Live Here (?)

The Spanish word pintados translates to painted in English. There are many references to the word, in one it is a war loving tribe known for tattoos. Here, it is the name of a deserted town on an abandoned railroad running roughly parallel to the Pan American highway. As we passed through en route to Geoglifos de Pintados, I captured these shots of the ruined town.

The handprinted sign above the window, top photograph, says in translation, “Here lived the Adolfo Tapia Family, 1940-1956, F.F C.C. del Estado.” Searches on Adolfo Tapia turned up nothing, all we know is the sign attributes the designation to the state government.

The hill of the geoglyphs are the background, some of the figures are visible. There will be more in later posts.

The railroad served the many Saltpeter factories dotting the Tarapacá region. To my knowledge all were closed in the mid-20th century.

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Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

On the Pan American

A place that exists because of water and a roa

Pozo Altamonte

We passed this way between Humberstone and the geoglyph site, the town name can be roughly translated as “High Well.” A watering place, in other words. The sign advertises the “International Hostel” Tata with the convenience of private bathrooms.

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Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Well Ordered

fighting for truth and honesty

a basis for fairness

Pooleys were a firm of mechanical engineers, founded in Liverpool 1790. Shown as Pooley of Liverpool in Heath Mill Lane, Birmingham, the company originally made scale beams, such as shown here, a reminder of the origins of Humberstone.

A demand of the workers was access to a scale to verify company store weights. With this post I close this series of photographs from the Humberstone UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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References

Websites

Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works World Heritage page

The Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works site (Chile), removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger/

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Saguaro Sky

dramatic skies from Saguaro National Park

November is a special time for the ranges and basins of southern Arizona deserts.  Climb a bajada of foothills, face west and wait for the sunset.  That is what I did this day, November 3, 2005.  East of Tucson the Saguaro National Monument at the foot of the Rincon Mountain Wilderness is where I parked, unpacked the photo gear and climbed the side of the Tanque Verde Ridge for a favorable view.  Weather was pushing high level moisture from the west, clouds were developing.

You see here a shot from that session.  In the distance, looking across Tanque Verde, are the Santa Catalina mountains.  Months since the last rainfall, the giant Saguaros are using internal moisture reserves drawn up from a shallow root system, the flesh is less plump, the supporting structure of the ribs, always evident, are more pronounced.  The last light catches these ribs in relief against a dramatic sky.

Click this link or the photograph for my Online gallery of this offering
Saguaro Sunset -- CLICK ME!!!!

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Mother Country

touchstone or Imperialist Tool?

from well watered lands

1872 James Thomas Humberstone founded the Peru Nitrate Company. No, is geography was not deficient, this land was won by Chile from Peru in the War of the Pacific. This rolling stock was delivered from England, where Humberstone was born, in Dover, and worked his early years on railroads, London. At the age of 25, hired by the Tarapaca Nitrate Company, he moved to South American.

Robert Francis Fairlie developed the Fairlie Locomotive.

Click any photograph for a larger view and use Ctrl-x to zoom in closer.

Click me for the first post of this series.

References

Websites

Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works World Heritage page

The Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Works site (Chile), removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger/

Copyright 2020 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved