Trip to Ireland September – October 2006


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Return to previous day, Monday 25 September

Tuesday 26 September  

To Arann by ferry boat from Ros a Mhil (Rossaveal) in Connemara (35/40 mins),

The bus for the ferry to Rossaveal left from just down the street from the hotel which gave us plenty of time to consume out Full Irish Breakfast (Mary) or Small Irish Breakfast (Colin).  This consisted of fried egg, bacon, sausage, potatoes, tomato and pudding (black and white).  The difference between the two is that the full has two of everything and mushrooms.


Suitably fortified, we caught the bus and transferred to the ferry at Rossaveal.  There were seals and cormorants in the harbour.

We found a guide, Tommy, who took us around the island as the weather deteriorated.  He enjoyed taking pictures for us with our camera through his window - to save us getting out in the wet.  Many of the houses are thatched with oats grown on the island.  They have trouble threshing the seed out and so the horses do not eat oats.  Baskets etc. are made from willows which grow in low wet areas - they are low bushes and not trees.  In several places there were small wooden houses about the size of a doghouse, which are put out for the leprechauns.

There many bramble bushes and the blackberries were ripe.

Lunch was soup and a sandwich/chocolate Guinness cake.  The home-made soup was excellent while the cake was well balanced between the chocolate and Guinnes.  Fushcia grows wild everywhere, it will root naturally and easily.  It was in full bloom and added a pleasing touch of colour to an otherwise dour landscape.

From a postcard.

We walked up to the fort Dun Aonghasa in the rain.  What an incredible location.  There is a sheer drop of 300 feet into the sea below - and with no barriers or fences.  It was a pity that the weather wasn't better but even so the views are spectacular.  There are a lot of dry-stone walls which must have taken a lot of effort to construct.  They help to retain the thin soil which would otherwise blow away. 

There are a number of schools on the island and a good number of teachers.  They receive instruction until they go to college which is at Galway and they come home at the weekend.  Cell phones are heavily used on the island although land lines still exist - we saw an abandoned green  phone box.

Tommy then picked us up and took us back to Kilronan by the lower road where we stopped to look at the small colony of seals.  They were half in and half out of the water and looked like rocks because they were so still.  We also saw a family of swans and many cormorants.

Back at Kilronan there was time to look through the woollen shops and get a plate of Irish cheeses (smoked Gubbeen, Durrus, Cashel Blue and a port marbled cheddar) and a glass of red wine before joining the ferry for the return to Rossaveal.  We had to wait a few minutes for the bus which disgorged a number of islanders who were returning to the island from work.

Go to next day, Wednesday 27 September