Yesterday we decided to leave Galway at 13:00 instead of waiting until 18:30. I was raining often and it seemed better to spend the day on Inishmore instead of wandering around Galway for another day.
I put the patch behind my ear for the ferry ride. Mary told me that it was pretty wavy, but I could only feel it for a bit. When I keep my eyes closed and just feel the rocking, I am much better off. Actually I slept most of the ride.
We settled into our room at the Catherine B&B.
The island is famous for its strong Irish culture, loyalty to language, and it’s wealth ancient Pre-Christain and Christian sites. We are on the largest of the 3 islands. It has an area of 12 sq. miles and a population of about 840 people. That increases by about 1000 visitors per day in the summer. Despite the rain, I am sure glad to be here now.
After a bit went back to the dock to eat. I had delicious clam coconut curry and we had great sweet tea drinks. I even took photos of my food today.
We we looked in the local shops and Mary made purchases.
Catherine told us there would be music at Tí Joe Watty’s at 8:00
So we walked up there just before 8; passed an old church site on the way;
had soup and Greek Salad ; and listened to Locho, a local man, play his guitar and play Irish folk songs.
I love to listen to Irish Ballads. This was clearly a Gaelic bar. Almost all of the people were speaking Gaelic. The wall sign above the bar was in Gaelic.
When we woke up this morning the weather had turned even worse. We were scheduled to do a 17.5 mile walk on the island. Catherine suggested that we do a tour of the places we were suppose to go today.
Hearing the howling wind; looking at everything blow around, and the watching the sideways rain from the breakfast table, convinced us to have Catharine call for the tour.
We were the only ones in the van. He took us to a 7th century church.
We walked up the path.
And took photos of the church.
Then we went to see the impressive 3,000 year old Dún Aengus, we were dropped off at the bottom and walked up the path. Going in a van today was one of our great decisions.
I know know that I said we were in gale force winds before but this suposedly 20 minute hike up to the fort beat it all. The gusts of wind literally stopped us in our tracks. The stones were slippery from the rain. Now I really know what it must be like to be a reporter giving us the news on a hurricane.
Several times we were almost blown into the walls on the side of the rocky path.
We finally reached the top and after passing through this opening
Mary was literally thrown back into the rocks behind her and hit both of her elbows. The guy up at this top took our photo.
Then we walked (were blown)across a field at the top and through another opening in the wall to see what is left of the fort.
Here is a close-up of one of the walls.
The fort is protected by three non-concentric walls
The fort sits 100 meters above the Atlantic and its massive walls run right up to the cliff’s edge. No fences guard the sheer drop to the ocean below where powerful swells pound the rocks. I couldn’t get even close to the edge or I could have been blown off.
I wish I could have taken more photos. It was way too wet and windy (an understatement).
After we visited the fort. We looked in the shops and had lunch (great vegetable soup, brown bread, and a goat cheese salad made by a local farmer) at the cafe.
Then we want to see Na Seacht d’Teampaill, Seven Churches, it is the collective name given to a complex of churches and monastic sites located along the northwestern side of the island. The complex consists of the remains of 2 churches, tombs, a graveyard, monastic houses, and other Early Christian architecture.
The buildings in the complex were built over several centuries, between the 9th and 15th Centuries. Teampall Bhreacáin is the largest building and the main church on the site. Here are a couple of photos.
On our way back to the B&B we could see miles of stone walls. There are over 1,600 km of dry-stone walls across all 3 islands. It was so very difficult to capture the expanse in a photo. Here are a couple.
You can see how much of the ground is covered with limestone.
We stopped at a ramp to the sea where the fishermen take their boats.
Above you can see the baskets and netting on the wall. It has been too rough for them to fish right now.
If you look closely at the next photo, you can see the lighthouse in the distance.
We passed a couple of thatched-roof houses before going back to Catherine’s to dry off and hunker down for the evening.
I am so glad that we didn’t attempt the 17.5 miles in today’s weather. We are warm now and hoping for less wind tomorrow for our 9.5 mile hike on the other side of the island.