Rough Seas to Aran IslandSeptember 13 in Ireland
Doolin is a lovely place on the mainland of Ireland, our B&B is fantastic as is the breakfast. So for some reason we are going to get on a boat, face five foot swells and go to Inishmeer (Inis Oirr) Island - the smallest of the famed Aran Islands. We have a lovely 2km walk to the pier and it affords us a view of the Atlantic Ocean the whole way. It is a windy day, we are dressed warmly - we think.
On the thirty five minute ride out the crew ushers everyone to the interior. The Star of Doolin is a decent size, 24 feet and can sit 40 or so people inside. The waves crash against our boat, many people look like they might revisit their breakfast, Laurie has taken her Gravol so she is hanging in.
We arrive to the island in one piece, disembark and catch a horse driven carriage around the little island. It is an enjoyable 45 minute tour and the pictures will do this part of the trip much more justice than words ever can.
300 people make their home on Inis Oirr, tourism is the primary industry followed by agriculture (cattle primarily). Stone fence walls abound as it was the best place to put the shale and limestone that covered the ground. There is “K-12” schooling, a medicentre and thankfully more than one pub. After wandering around we determine a pub would be in order so we wander in and have a beer and Irish Coffee and a pub food lunch.
We walk around the beach for a while before heading to our boat for the return voyage. The water is calm around the island and they let us sit outside - that’s a good sign... right. Past the shelter of the island the waves kick up and start crashing over the bow we are instantly drenched. The boat is making a tour of the Cliffs of Moher so we can see the cliffs from the water and the Harry Potter Sea Cave - it is all very cool. It does however extend the trip to over an hour of wave crashing good fun. Our water proof jackets do well but our jeans - not so much. We disembark at the Doolin pier and make our 2km trek back to town.
Another couple from our B&B have made the same out and back trek with us, they also were at the Music House last night. They are American, he is retired Military Intelligence, we have avoided politics until waiting for the ferry back to Doolin. Then it all comes out, they are embarrassed by their president as, they feel, is 66% of the American population. We instantly feel badly for them - you can tell the impact of not being proud of your country weighs on their shoulders. As Canadians we have rarely if ever faced that weight.
At dinner we find them at the same restaurant and sit beside them - they are interesting and well informed - unlike, unfortunately, some of the other Americans we have encountered on our trip to Ireland. It is interesting times to travel.Read more