Doughiska is a leafy outer suburban housing estate outside Galway which offered a pleasant, peaceful airbnb…….(G7 and G8), but was geographically destined to attract long peakhour traffic delays just at the time I chose a taxi to take me there. Congratulations were in order for the Irish Dance Champion interesting awards of my hostess; the little bathroom luxury items and the comfy bed. The public bus this morning was free, and about 30 minutes quicker which compensated for the whopping big taxi fee last evening.
Need to be more careful at pinpointing the exact distances of the accommodation! 🤔
Galway waking up is a curious mix of homeless, down and out men seeking warmth and toothless chats in the square, and the giant seagulls. They are even bigger than a jeep. (LOL – see the pic below for detail on the stump) Plenty of colour and G9 around the Square alongside its sailing sculpture and historical Lynch’s Window. Hot chocolate and good old bacon and eggs hit the spot! Shared the sides of non-gf toast, black pudding and haggis with a couple of hungry souls (not seagulls).
So to the Aran Islands Shuttle bus to Rossveal where we rollicked past fields of donkeys, admired the coastline and travelled in to Connemara. We took the ferry 45 minutes across the bay to Innis Oirr (Innisheer), the second largest of the three islands. Again geographically lacking orientation, I learnt lots. The sun streaming in to the ferry cabin was deliciously soporific, and I dozed just a little. I chuckled a bit at the bikinied teenage girls who were soaking up the attention as they eventually jumped in to waters off the pier…..the water looked cold!
While most of the fellow ferry passengers dashed to the bike hire or the pony traps on stepping ashore, I stuck to my eagerly anticipated and long-held plan of walking the island and seeing the sites at leisure. LSM was right! My shocking sense of direction would be a drawback. It meant I did more walking than necessary……..but hey, I eventually found the b&b and was able to offload my packs and amble off with a “just in case” rain jacket tied optimistically around my waist. Didn’t need it once!
My mid-morning and afternoon tea snacks were the wild roadside blackberries…….bike riders and pony trappers missed these! They also missed the amazing colours of the local red and black moths and the minute species of plants growing in tiny beachside grasses and stones. Best moment of the day was sitting quietly on my own on the rocky outcrop above and investigating the spongey grasses amongst the wildflowers and watching the sun on the water of the Atlantic.
With so many interesting things seen, I am sharing but a few. Just click on individual images to see more detail if you are interested. Fans of Father Ted would have loved the wreck of The Plassey seen in the opening scene of the series, and the Craggy Ices van.
I saw lots, reflected lots, and enjoyed the company of a lovely German family over a curry cheese Chippy lunch. They share the same Hillsong religious faith as our Prime Minister.
Craft is not a strongpoint, though I would have loved to have inherited the skills and creativity of my mother and sister in that area. Unable to make my own crafts, I rely on sourcing things from local artisans (or my Mum), and I managed to find the only item I was hoping for….a beautifully local handmade woollen shawl/scarf. Though it is not a traditional Aran design, it is so soft and beautifully made that I am in awe of its maker, and will love wearing it.
My favourite signs of the day:
After 4 hours of strolling, at times striding and at other times just sitting and breathing deeply, I have returned to the serenity of the beautifully located b&b to gather my thoughts. The selfie smile means I have managed to rinse out my meagre wardrobe, and am now kicking back overlooking the amazing view from my bedroom and thinking how blessed I am to have accomplished one of my travel dreams…..and there are 2 more days on the largest Innis Mor (Innishmore) to come. I just hope that my body finds the will to walk on.
And the final word goes to the local fisho…..