That was what Loren and I called Ireland in 2012. We lucked out with the weather on that trip, so Ireland was just very green and blue. Well, we’re getting even better weather this year, if that’s even possible! So Ireland is, once again, green and blue. It’s like it thinks it still has to tempt me. There’s no need for that…I already want to live here!
Today was a day I had been looking forward to all trip. Our excursion to the Aran Islands…namely Inis Mor. I have been to Inis Mor once before, but Loren and I had left from Galway to get there. That required a 45-minute coach bus ride followed by a ferry ride that I believe was about 30 minutes. Well, we aren’t going to Galway this trip, so we decided to stay in the Burren last night and tonight and leave from Doolin, the only other place that ferries leave the main island for the Arans.
Online research told us that the trip would be 75-90 mins. That seemed long to me, but whatever. We bought our tickets and we reached a stop after 45 minutes. From what I could see out the window, it looked like it could be Inis Mor. Nope. It was Inis Oirr (not to be confused with Inis Meain or Inis Mor). So we stayed on until the next stop, which was at the 75-minute mark. Nope again. Inis Meain. It took nearly 2 hours to get to Inis Mor. I was not pleased. Not to mention because the ferry was kind of old and very cold.
We rented our bikes straightaway and I was excited to take the CORRECT bike path this year. The last time Loren and I missed the turn (it is now marked better!) and the route we ended up taking was brutal. It was very difficult and it took FOREVER. We found the better route back, so I knew where to take it this year. It was a 4-mile bike one way and then you hike up quite the hill to Dun Aengus, a prehistorical fort. The signage says it’s one of Europe’s finest! It seemed a little different this time, as one passageway seemed to have been blocked off. But I made it around to the iconic ledge photo area. You lay on the edge of the very tall cliff and take your picture. It didn’t matter that I was right next to a cliff with a drop-off that could kill me, I loved laying there and nearly fell asleep. Being near that kind of water really is my happy place!
We then walked and biked back, enjoying the scenery and animals along the way. On the way there we played with a horse and two donkeys and on the way back we played with a cow and another, much more extroverted horse! We didn’t have a lot of time (thanks ferry), so we missed lunch and went straight to the Aran Sweater Market. I may or may not have gone overboard. Good thing they ship!
Tracey and I then got water and chips from the Spar (which is new to the island since 2012) and then waited for Jaime to finish shopping. We returned our bikes and waited for the ferry. I had hoped that they would have picked up at the other islands on their way to get us, you know to give us all roughly the same amount of time on the islands. No such luck. Another absolutely freezing 2-hour tour.
We were all frozen stiff by the time we got to the car, good thing for heat! We stopped at what I thought looked like a cute little pub there in Doolin and it was toasty warm when we walked in. Perfect! I had the chicken burger, which was delicious. Tracey and Jaime had the seafood curry, which they thought was pretty amazing, too. We’ve really had great luck with food on this trip. Almost everything has been so tasty.
We then came back to the room to relax and read our books. We were exhausted from our 8-mile bike ride and at least 3-mile walk! Tell me again why my pants are getting tight on this trip?
Tomorrow is the last actual day of the trip. This makes me very sad. I always get pretty emotional on my last evening. So I hope I can hold it together! I just find such a sense of peace everywhere I go in this country! I never want to leave!