The Wild Atlantic Way to Galway

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October 24th 2017
Published: October 27th 2017
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Giant's CausewayGiant's CausewayGiant's Causeway

was so windy
Wild Atlantic Way to Galway

“The Wild Atlantic Way is a sensational journey of soaring cliffs and buzzing towns and cities, of hidden beaches and epic bays. So whether you drive it from end-to-end, or dip into it as the mood strikes, it's going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” from …. and I sat on a coach hurtling south along the coast thru small villages where many people waited to board the bus and go to the next town or the town after.

In the wild atlantic waves surfers in black body suits could be seen riding in to the beach or floating out to sea in anticipation of the next swell... OK... saw it all in a flash but I did get that feeling of abandon … as if I were on the beach cheering.

Three different drivers took the Éireann Bus south. At a ten minute toilet stop Pringles and a banana were bought and consumed. From Carnside Guesthouse I had a packed breakfast in a bag and had been nibbling on that during the five hour ride from Colraine (Giant's Causeway) to Galway.

Strong wind, lot's of people and the wrong colour … made the Giant's Causeway a pleasant encounter but nothing to get terribly wild about ...where are the black hexagons always shown when the Causeway is mentioned?

“The Giant's Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. Most of the columns are hexagonal, although there are also some with four, five, seven or eight sides. The tallest are about 12 metres (39 ft) high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 28 metres (92 ft) thick in places.” from wiki

What was wild was the wind, the waves and the people trying to climb up high on the hexagons high they had to be whistled down by the National Trust people in phosphorescent yellow jackets, on duty to stop such crazies. The blackness of the hexagons was explained by one of the National Trust people as being a fungus that grows on the rocks.

The lovely lady at Carnside Guesthouse which lies within walking distance of the Causeway picked me up once I had finished the mile walk down to the rocks. I also had a stupendous meal at the local Causeway Hotel. Because I had just had a coffee and chocolate cookies at the Belfast train station I was ready to eat . Ordering chowder as a starter and a burger as my main I could of course not eat it all. At the Causeway Hotel there are no containers to be had for leftovers. I was not throwing away the rest of my burger. Having eaten all that was green I wrapped the bacon, cheese and meat in double napkins. It made a good snack once I was ensconced in my room after a long hot shower. In the morning and at 08.00 after a comfortable evening and night at the Guesthouse with the amazing view the lovely lady made me a coffee and breakfast in a bag and dropped me at the bus stop.

I was on my way to Galway.

The bus trip was exhilerating...lots of curves and many dips and rises in the road. It was impossible to knit or read, the danger of car sickness imminent at every turn and dip.

The bus /train station is dilapidated and sad and there is not a seat to be seen ...most diorientating.

Had to walk around the corner to find a taxi office. After paying 7.50 euros I was at the Beerhaus ready to meet the person with the key to the smalll self-catering space I would occupy for the next three nights.

It will be calming to cook food for myself … not gourmet mind … but what I want to eat...noodles and veggies.

There is a lot of space and a lot of leather-look furniture... won't be sitting on any of that. Lots of disinfecting too ...the whole kitchen and the dishes I would use. Lots of cleaning agents to be found.

All is good and I have stripped the bed of the Velvet polyester look blanket. Found a real blanket. The heavy comforter also had to be removed. The sleep was good and a plug for the phone-radio was close and easy to access. That the wifi keeps dropping is not so good. And too bad the washing machine is out of order ...or is that just a note to discourage use ????

The wandering around in Galway streets made for a successful day.
Where the Sidewalk EndsWhere the Sidewalk EndsWhere the Sidewalk Ends

... walking to the Spar store ...first hours in Galway
There are many green shop fronts peddling shamrock covered dust collectors among other knickknacks and other odd kitschkas. Troubadours were out in the misty rin seranading the cobble stone streets. Shop Street has been closed to traffic and what was a wide walkway during the day shrank into a narrow passage at night what with all the restaurants putting up barriers to enclose their on street tables for the evening dining crowd.

After spending 30 pounds at the Spar I had enough to eat for the three days ... somwhat repetative ... but to my liking. The dishes did ot look pretty .. one pot wonders eaten straight from the pot by day three. During the day homemade sandwiches were carried and eaten with a bought coffee.

While on Aran Islands this procedure lead to a few good laughs and a pleasant encounter with the Bariste man who reputedly makes the best coffee on the island. This proved true and I promised to buy a cookie if he let me eat my sandwich with his coffee. All was good... this was a nice man... too bad his girlfriend was sitting at the coffee bar.

To get to the biggest of the three Aran islands first an hour long shuttle ride from the city had to be taken. Leaving at 09.30 in the morning the ride was pleasant going thru the Salthill area...that would be a lovely place to have a holiday house. The waves are seen and heard from balconies at the front of the houses.

. "Aran Island Ferries operate a fleet of luxury, purpose-built ferries that vary in passenger capacity to accommodate private charter, as well as our scheduled sailings." These sleek streamlined set of five boats take passengers to a set of islands that "defy their size by all they have to offer: breath- scenery, ecclesiastical ruins from early Christian times, medieval castles, cliffs, prehistoric stone forts (including the famous Dn Aonghasa (Dun Aengus) ring fort), sandy beaches, clean air, unique flora and fauna and a rich folklore that the islanders are proud to recount." from their website.

There had been for-knowledge concerning the offers that would be made by drivers of mini-vans and/or horse-drawn carriages. I accepted a 15 euro price for an hour and a half ride to see worthy spots. Climbed to the above mentioned ring fort, saw grey seals, walked on hundred year old graves, photographed ferry houses, was confused by the geology of the island, heard that electridity only arrived in 1973 and that all 800 islanders get their water from a rainwater filled resevoir...but do not have their own rainbarrels.

Two hundred and fifty grams of wool in the perfect black was found in a small shop at the foot of the fort. But five hundred grams are needed for a specific vest pattern.

At one shop it was emphatically stated that there was no wool available on the Island. I think she wanted to sell me her kit in a plastic bag with straight needles ....have not knit with those for the last fifteen to twenty years ... OMG I getting old???

At the Aran Knitweat Shop a whole wall of real Irish wool in all kinds of colours was on display. I bought enough for the vest and bought more to share with friends. I bought enough to qualify for free shipping!

the five hours on the Island passed quickly. The weather was grand withsunshine all around ,,,untill the last half hour whenn the rain and cold
St. Nicholas at 700St. Nicholas at 700St. Nicholas at 700

his medieval church was very impressive at 700years of age
wind made for a gloomy end to the day. The ferry spead quickly across the bay protected by the islands from the Atlantic. It is the Islands that are battered by the sea to the point of having their wondrous stone fences and roads obliterate, as in 2014

The driver of the mini van said that the sea brings up the rocks along the shore.

The pic above is from

where you might read the whole story.

It was dark on the return trip. Recognizing the name of a hotel writ large on the grey bricks I decended the bus so as not to have to walk all the way back from the original bording spot.

At this time of night, 19.30, the pub crawlers were out in full force. I needed an ATM machine so marched thru the crowd to achieve my goal.

Once back at the apt I put the cost of the three night stay under the iron lamp. The man's machine, depending on his wonkey wifi server, was not working so cash had to be left. He should have gone to fix the server...apparently it is situated in the next apartment.

All the leftovers were heated in the pot and that was dinner. It was an early bedtime ... 05.30 would come fast. The taxi was ordered and I would be out of the apartment by 07.00.

That man with the wonkey wifi had no idea wether or not I left him his money. I also left him a jar of jam and a bottle of sunflower oil.

It was dark and it will be even darker next week because the clocks will fall back this weekend.

Next stop Waterford and the beauty of crystal.

Additional photos below
Photos: 22, Displayed: 22


Galway WallGalway Wall
Galway Wall

...the wall has been incorporated into a shopping mall and is protected by a glass roof ... but not protected from lunchers strewing their papers about.
The River's Swollen FlowThe River's Swollen Flow
The River's Swollen Flow

Sand bags were still in place. The hurricane Ophilia was expected to breach the quay in Galway especially at the Museum.

...onions, mushrooms, peas, pork hamburger, and curry instant noodle soup .... it was good
On the Aran Island On the Aran Island
On the Aran Island

it is one huge piece of rock.
The Lawn AfterThe Lawn After
The Lawn After

The rocks have to be picked out of the space ... andturned into kilometers of stone fences. Than the space needs top soil so grass can grow.
The Horse and CartThe Horse and Cart
The Horse and Cart

...the horses will stop working next week.
The Cemetery by Seven ChurchesThe Cemetery by Seven Churches
The Cemetery by Seven Churches

This is a very old cemetery and butials are still taking place amongst the ancient tombstones.
Thatched RoofThatched Roof
Thatched Roof

Two tatched rooves exist on the Island. Other houses have now either slate or metal rooves. Not enough rye grows to continue tatchin. Even the fodder for the hoeses must be brought overfrom the mainland island of Ireland

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