Recently, similar to countless others from the East of Ireland, Wendy relocated to the west coast. Love and loss brought her here. She loves walking the beach at Carrowniskey but hates flies and midges.
Wendy works four days a week in Portwest HQ and Thursday is her day off. Every Thursday, she makes sure that; if she does nothing else that day, she’ll go for a walk on the beach, near her home.
This week on her way to the beach, she noticed the first lamb in her neighbour’s field. A sure sign the seasons are changing.
The wind was almost non-existent, which is a rare occasion on the west coast. If you’ve spent time outdoors in Ireland at this time of year, you’ll know that little wind means you’ll be swarmed by flies and midges as soon as you leave your house.
Have you noticed that you are never surrounded by just one midge? Usually, the whole swarm arrives. Well, this is because if you’ve been bitten by a midge, they release pheromones to alert their friends to a food source. Do you want to be food for flies and midges? We don’t know about you, but we’re sick of itchy, red lumps from midge bites.
Uniquely Wild Atlantic Experience
Back to Wendy, you’ll be glad to know there’s no flies on Wendy at the beach. She just sauntered through the golden sand. Her favourite place to ‘wave watch’ is a stack of rocks heading towards Roonagh Point. It gives a vantage point over the water. And although there were no waves today, she watched as the water seemed to stand still.
A ripple caught her eye. What looked like a dark coloured beak broke through the surface of the water about 50ft from where she stood. Another dark beak shot up beside it.
She took a step closer. “Is it birds”? she thought. She could see ripples forming on the surface. With that the still water was brought to life. The dark coloured beaks were now leaping through the air.
There was no doubt. She was looking at a pod of dolphins. She didn’t take out her phone. She just watched as the dolphins danced out of the water. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group report less than 10 dolphin sightings every year at Carrowniskey.
And do you know what made it even more special?
Wendy was the only person on the entire beach.
Where else in the world could you have an entire beach all to yourself?
Why are there no flies on Wendy?
So, we hear you asking; How can Wendy enjoying this experience, on a Wild Atlantic beach, without letting flies and midges eat her alive?
This isn’t her first rodeo, she’s lived along the Wild Atlantic Coast now since January 2021.
She realised on her first early Spring evening walk if she was going to enjoy exploring the golden beaches, she needed to go prepared and bring some essentials.
How to Beat the Flies & Midges in Ireland
You’ll be surprised at how simple her solutions are.
1. Wear a hat
Keep your head covered, there is nothing worse so just choose a suitable hat, depending on the temperature.
Keep your eyes covered.
3. Face / mouth cover
Whether it’s a buff or a net will depend on your excursion . But one thing is for certain you don’t want to swallow bugs.
4. Bug spray
There is a great select of insect protection available and we even have DEET free spray by Smidge in store and online. If you’re not a fan of the smell of some bug sprays, a few drops of lemongrass will do the trick.
5. Sealed Boxes
Keep food and food waste or rubbish covered and ideally stored in a sealed lunch box or bag.
Can you imagine if Wendy allowed the flies and midges to get in the way of her walk? These are the unique experiences you can have when you get outdoors and enjoy Ireland and the Wild Atlantic Way the way at its best!
She thought how grateful she was. If she didn’t have her essentials she would have turned back and missed, what is potentially, a once-in-a-lifetime event.
We know it can be tough to get out for a walk; after a long day sometimes you’re looking for an excuse to skip your walk. But if your prepared with the right gear, there’s no excuse. Certainly don’t let a few flies and midges be one of then anyways!
P.S Keep an eye out for our FREE guide to The Wild Atlantic Way’s Best Beaches by Portwest - The Outdoor Shop. Sign up to our emails for access.