Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Biking on Inishmor


Today is our last day, so we are determined to make the most of it. The weather was doing the usual thing, cloudy, windy, maybe some sun every now and then. Hit the road pretty soon after breakfast and headed for the Aran Islands Ferry. Good thing we left early, because Geoff went a bit too far. When we were driving down, what appeared to be a one lane dirt road, we realized it was time to turn back. No worries, made the ferry with time to spare.

The seas were a bit rough. Half-way through the 45 minute ride, they started handing out plastic bags. Some folks were turning green. We had a fine time. It felt like a Disney ride. Arrived on Inishmor at around 11:30. There are lots of different ways to explore the island, walking - too long, bus - too boring, buggy - too smelly, biking -- yes that's it! Walked over to the bike rental, grabbed some mountain bikes (I did think twice about an e-bike, but decided that I wouldn't be a wuss). It was cloudy and windy when we started out but it really wasn't too cold.
Inis Mór  is the largest of the Aran Islands in Galway Bay in Ireland and largest island off the Irish coast with no bridge or causeway to the mainland. The island is famous for its strong Irish culture, loyalty to the Irish language, and a wealth of Pre-Christian and Christian ancient sites including Dún Aengus, described as "the most magnificent barbaric monument in Europe".
The terrain was up and down, mostly up for the first leg. Our first stop was at the beach for photo ops. We found it interesting that anywhere along water, whether it is the river walk or the beach, there are life preservers at the ready.  From there it was up to the top to the famous fort. There was a huge group of German kid
s on bikes who were leaving the beach when we did. We let them go ahead, even though we weren't looking forward to meeting them up at the fort. No problem, they all stopped to get ice cream. We never saw them again. We parked our bikes in the lot and walked up the stony path to the fort. More beautiful views.
Dún Aonghasa (anglicized Dun Aengus)[2] is the most famous of several prehistoric hill forts on the Aran Islands of County GalwayRepublic of Ireland. It lies on Inishmore, at the edge of a 100 metre high cliff.
A popular tourist attraction, Dún Aonghasa is an important archaeological site that also offers a spectacular view.
It is not known exactly when Dún Aonghasa was built, though it is now thought that most of the structures date from the Bronze Age and Iron Age.
On the tourist map there was a marking for the Red Bull High Diving site, Serpent's Lair, that they used in 2014. Wonder if Andy was here. Up at the fort we walked around till we found a quiet spot to have a snack that we brought -- the leftovers from the smoked salmon shop. As we sat, we watched the sun finally coming through the clouds. It was a beautiful ride down with the sun shining. Stopped at Seal Lookout only there were no seals. The tide was too high. Did find a friendly horse, however. It was a leisure ride back into town. I have to say with all the people who were on the island on one form or another, we were pretty much by ourselves all day. It was great.

Collected our discount coffee and croissant, compliments of the bike rental place, at the SPAR - the supermarket. Turned our bikes in and walked down to catch the 4pm ferry back. It was packed. Fortunately, we got two aisle seats next to two couples traveling together from Canada. Great conversation - made the ride go by fast. Geoff was talking to his Canadians about Trump and asked them what will they do if Trump wins and we all start crossing the border. "Oh, we have a solution for that" what? "We're gonna build a wall!"  They never said who was going to pay for it though.

Arrived back on the mainland and got the car. Riding back now. We have a dinner reservation at 7pm. at Kai. It is touted as being having the best food in Galway and it is a 5 minute walk from our b&b. Got back, chatted for a while with Anne and made plans for an early breakfast tomorrow. Showered, dressed and made it to the restaurant approximately around 7. This place is very small and very popular. It is pretty much off the tourist path. In fact, the two ladies sitting next to us wanted to know how we even knew about the place.We got into a lively chat with them and they left us (me) their half bottle of wine. Thanks! Most of the patrons were locals. There was one Japanese couple on the other side of us who found the place in their Japanese guidebook. They strayed from their tour group.

The food was absolutely fabulous!  What a great way to end a wonderful day and travel experience. We have had such a great time in Ireland. I would never have imagined it all. We have fumbled our way without a guide or guidebook and have just enjoyed the scenery, the culture, the history, and most of all the people. It has all been quite lovely.

We have are all packed and ready to go home -- most of all for the laundry!  Early breakfast at 7:30 and then we are out by 8 am.



Next time... Home, Sweet, Home


  1. Toast to your successful trip!

  2. Never made it out to the islands, I'm the one who needs the little green plastic bag! Looked lovely indeed. Happy to know you toured that Emerald Isle, now I know you'll visit if the unspeakable happens on Election Day & I use that Irish citizenship to relocate!
    Welcome home!