International Society to ARAN ISLANDS, INIS MOR

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May 8th 2006
Published: May 10th 2006
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Aran Islands, Inis Mor: May 5 to 7, 2006

The international society left at 9 am on Friday morning (May 5th) for Galway to board a ferry for the Aran Islands, specifically Inis Mor. We stayed at a hostel inland. The island is approximately 10 miles across by 3 miles wide and is the largest of the three Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland. We had no plans, so upon arriving on Friday afternoon, Caitlin and I wasted no time journing to Dun Aonghasa, a fort overlooking the cliffs of the island. We traveled to Seven Churches, a ringfort and an inlet beach where seals basked in the sun. We finished the trip back in Kilcornan and picked up food at the only food shop for dinner.

Saturday, I wanted to see the black fort and puffing holes on the opposite coastline from the previous day. Caitlin and I left following breakfast and walked along a road to the coast. We saw the black fort, but did not walk there. We walked in the opposite direction along the coast on no discernable path, but just climbing over rocks and crevasses and over stone walls. As far as we could see (which was miles) there were no other people anywhere near us for those miles. The coastline was completely barren of people and just gorgeous to look at. The weather had cleared to blue sky and white fluffy clouds and we actually felt our faces burning a little in the sun, something I never thought to prepare for walking in Ireland. We walked to the farthest point we could see, thinking it might be near the end of the coast, but once we got there, we could see miles and miles more of uninhabited coastal land. It was absolutely beautiful. We walked back eventually and had an amazing meal at the Pier House restaurant right next to the main pier in Kilcornan.

Sunday, Caitlin and I left after breakfast and walked up along the coast, past the airport and wandered over hundreds of stone walls until we found the opposite coast. We climbed along the coast until high tide came in and then we ventured back across the stone walls, with our new Swiss traveling companion and made it back to a familiar cow pasture. We saw a “path” tred in a field and decided to follow it. We stopped at a craggy nook on the coast to eat lunch and continued on the grassy path as in wound back up into the stones and slabs of the typical Aran coast. We finally found the puffing hole! Not really worth the long excursion, but the excursion was amazing and we were glad we had tried to find what we had until then believed was a non-existent site. The weather was gorgeous again and we hiked back to the hostel to retrieve our bags and make the ferry back to Galway by 5 pm.

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