|On Inis Moirr|
At first we were just moseying along, enjoying the scenery--the bogs are strangely beautiful. But then we realized that we'd never get to the ferry on time if w didn't make tracks. So there we were, zooming along this narrow, bumpy one-lane road, me gripping the seat tightly and being v-e-r-y quiet. We got there ten minutes before 10--and found out that the b&b host had told us wrong, and that the ferry actually left at 10:30! Well, it made for some good laughs, especially on the return trip when we could take our time and see what we'd flown past earlier.
|Looking out the window of the ferry.|
I selected the very first van we came to--it was raining and he seemed like a happy guy, and he turned out to be a great tour guide. He was full of stories and jokes ("there's the pub, that's me local. Music every night it's open. Course it's only open Saturday night."). He told us that there are about 800 people living on the island, and you cannot build a new house there unless you were a native. The only way an outsider can live there is if one of the homes actually comes up for sale. the old stone cottages are usually renovated or restored for new generations, although we did see several that were in ruins. According to our guide, those too were candidates for restoration. As simple as the construction of these little homes is, I can see that.
Now for the island:
|See the tiny house beside the cottage? Our guide said it was a leprechaun house. Hmmm...just a story for the tourists, or for real?|
The walk up was long, steep, and winding--and tricky. Lots of rocks, slippery places and such. We were lucky enough to get up there before too many other tourists arrived.
And finally, the reward of the long climb:
Wet and happy! This was as close as Larry would get to the edge--it is a long, long, long way down to the sea.
The entrance to the fort is very small, more easily defended.
Such beauty! I still cannot believe I actually saw this.
And in the other direction:
Looking through the entrance to the fields far below.
And though the outer wall.
We were glad to get back in the van. Some braver folks took the horse carts.
At this ruined church, we had a little trouble. There was so much rain that the area was fairly flooded.
Larry and I waded across anyway, getting our shoes thoroughly soaked.
And here in this churchyard, I found a surprise. My maiden name, in Gaelic, on a tombstone. There is a chance that my family originated in Galway, and these islands are part of that county. Who knows? Maybe my roots are here. My sister is working hard to find out just where we came from in Ireland.
And then, back to the sea. And seaweed!
Fertilizer, and also food--some of it is edible, and sometimes it is used in cosmetic and toiletry products.
There was a beehive hut down here, but the way was too flooded for us to see it up close.
Another beach, and...
seals! Which had me humming the Great Silkie of Sule Skerry, a Child ballad from the Scottish Orkney Islands.
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