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Published: April 28th 2018
Today was definitely about people and sensory overload. Friendliness and conversation galore; rugged, spectacular, river, lake and mountain enclosed reflective scenery with winding, narrow undulating roads, isolated farmhouses with numerous sheep and derelict stone buildings from yesteryear. We hope the selection of photos do our travels justice; do Ireland justice. We wonder why the Irish leave Ireland?
After a passionate conversation with our B&B host in Ballina it was on through the little village of Bangor Erris where the Nephin Beg Range, part of the Ballycroy National Park, added to our senses. From the town of Ballycroy to Mulrany we were continually out of the car and marvelling at where we were and what we were seeing. We clicked away merrily. It was so still. The working life of the people here ranged from peat harvestors, sheep farmers, fish farmers, goat farmers, pub owners, transporters, tourist operators just to mention a few. In Kileen, a few kilometres south of Mulrany we happened upon a wake in the local inn where the deceased person had been the chef and had been engaged to be married to the inn owners sister very soon. We were not turned away but welcomed in, fed,
conversed with and wished safe travel. We were overwhelmed.
In the picturesque small town of Newport we stumbled upon an elderly but robust woman as we were photographing the Blackoak River and she tending to her garden. She removed her gloves, introduced herself as Mary, and joined us in a very informative, lively and laughter filled discussion. Again these are the experiences that will stay with us for ever. One could not have organised it to be so.
Westport was bright and vibrant with tree lined streets and a great vibe. We walked around this beautiful place and even had a beer at a local pub. We noticed many cycling tracks too. Thankfully we didn't have our bikes because some parts were bloody steep. We left county Mayo and entered county Galway with the very small village of Leenane drowsing on the shores of Killary Harbour being our first port of call. Here the river, which extends numerous kilometres inland, is dotted with mussel rafts. The area is surrounded by mountains of which Mt Mweeirea is the highest. Isolated farm houses cling to the steep slopes as their sheep and goats feed continuously on the lush grasses.
We entered Tully Cross from the north by following a one lane road along a long, long loch until we were on the high reaches of the coast overlooking beaches and islands. We had no difficulty in finding our B&B, aptly named, "Seabreeze". We continued our day by walking into Tully Cross and down to one beach before readying ourselves for dinner at Maol Reidh, a fine dining eatery in Tully Cross. So ended a very inspiring and memorable day.
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