We first heard of Owenahincha, a place with a tongue-twisting name, two years ago from another collector of Irish minerals. He told us that small, flaky Hematite crystals can be found there. My sister and I decided to go there on the nearest occasion and so we did.
The moment we saw the beach we lost our breath to its beauty... How can you not fall in love with the rough, massive rocks cutting the beach, the waves splashing on them... How could you ignore the clean sand, the dunes, that peaceful and relaxing place that is almost always empty? How could you not explore the labyrinth of rocks and the caves in them?... But Owenahincha has not always been like that. Back in the 70`s, the beach was a popular weekend destination for families. It had hotels, bars and a lifeguard on the beach. It was packed all summer long.
In the 80`s air travel gained popularity and warm destinations such as Spain and Italy became more accessible. People forgot about Owenahincha, the hotels and bars became empty and eventually closed. Nowadays, it is still possible to find accommodation in that lovely town, but it is far from being the lively tourist destination it used to be.
That first time when we went to Owenahincha, we found no Hematite crystals. We did, however, find some massive Hematite, some Quartz crystals and lots of Chlorite. We loved the place so much, that we returned many times and surely still will. We learned that checking the tide times is crucial in that place because if you go too far, you may get cut off by the water until the low tide comes. One time we were so busy clearing a pocket of crystals, that we only managed to escape at the last moment! Of course, our shoes and clothes were wet, as we had to go through water.
Every time we returned to Owenahincha, we found new treasures. On one visit, Klaudia discovered a huge boulder of Quartz with lots of Hematite on it. She had to knock it down with a stick, as it was held by hard clay 2 metres above the ground.
Another time we discovered a huge pocket containing a hundred crystals, if not more. The crystals had different shapes and sizes; there were many clusters, double-terminated points and even combos with Albite. Oh!- we discovered Albite too! The biggest crystal was about 4cm long, some were teardrop-clear.
We also found some Quartz crystals with Chlorite inclusions, rotten Siderite, and micro-Chlorite crystals. This is such an interesting spot for mineral collectors!
If you are not a big fan of rock climbing, just have a walk along the beach. Owenahincha has beautiful, characteristic, red-and-white pebbles and lovely shells.
We do currently offer some Owenahincha crystals in our shops: here in the Irish Zone, and on Etsy (RockyRoadMinerals and NatureMagicStones). Check them out and let us know how you like our favourite collecting spot in Ireland!