I woke up at 7:30 refreshed and ready to take on the day. I have to thank my hostel for being so wonderful and making such a good night of sleep possible!
It was my plan to go to the Aran Islands today. Sadly, the weather was not on the same page as me. It was chilly and horrendously wet and windy. I went through Michael Flaherty tours, and when I showed up his brows raised in surprise asking, “are you sure you want to go today?” Yes, of course! A little rain never hurt anyone…
But a lot of rain is very very sad. I ignored his “but we’re getting 15 inches today!” warning and hopped on the bus. It was a 45 minute ride to the ferry and a 45 minute ferry ride (which was very very rocky… Jenn would have been seasick and feeding the fish, I guarantee it).
Six of us piled into a van and our tour was led by two local men. I loved them. They were friendly, funny, and big jokesters. I also loved listening to their rapidfire Gaelic conversation. I have to admit that I have been on many tours while in Europe, and I would rank this one highly! I felt completely comfortable and truly myself around them!
There are only 800 people living on this island. Everything is in Gaelic. Primary industries include tourism and fishing.
We toured the entire island. We stopped at a nice little area for food and shops.
It was chilly so I warned up w some homemade vegetable soup and traditional brown bread. Yum!
It was optional, but I chose to visit Dùn Aonghasa, which is one of the best preserved prehistoric sites in western Europe. It is a fort from the Bronze Age.
It was quite a hike to get there, and by the time I did my jeans were soaked through and my shoes were squishing!
Some people were crazy and were literally crawling toward the edge of the cliff and peeking over. It made my stomach drop – there are no barriers to the 300 foot plunge into the ocean.
I got close, which was bad news. It was so wet and the rock I was standing on was slippery and the mossy surface over it gave way under my weight and I completely wiped out. My fall was broken by my hand and bum and my belongings went flying. Luckily I was still a few feet away from the cliff’s edge. Here is my fall location and muddy pants:
Crazy! I didn’t last much longer as the rain and wind were driving me out. But I did snap a few more photos.
We toured the rest of the island, learned about the culture, saw the beaches and a seal colony, walked through an old cemetery and more. And I made a snail friend.
My tour was wonderful. After the days events the driver was even kind enough to drop me off right at the door of my hostel rather than the coach station so I didn’t have to trek in the rain. So kind!
AND when I returned to the hostel, my new friend Frank who works there gave me two towels for free to use. He probably saw me soaking and shivering and took pity on me. It was perfect, because I don’t have a towel!
I love the Irish hospitality! Since I was frozen to the core I took the longest hot shower ever. Good thing too, because the rain performed wonders on my hair….