Day 20 Skellig Michael


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Europe » Ireland » County Kerry » Portmagee
August 15th 2018
Published: August 16th 2018
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Tish commences her climb up the 694 steps to the Skellig Michael Monestary
We had planned a trip to Skellig Michael more than 7 years ago after camping in Portmagee overlooking Skellig Michael and the smaller Skellig in our campervan in 2011. Skellig Michael is a rock island 13 km off the PortMagee coastline where in the year 500 AD, some ChristIan Monks had commenced the construction of a Monestary. It is also a film location of the last Star Wars movie so the increased interest in visiting the rocky peak has probably made it possible for us to visit this time around as visitation was a no go when we were last year. The swell in the wild Atlantic Ocean almost caused us to miss this trip as we only found out 45 minutes before our trip on whether it had been cancelled or not. They called us yesterday to say that the trip will most likely be cancelled so we were over the moon when we rocked up to the carpark in Portmagee to find out we were going.

The trip out against the swell was like a roller coaster but luckily the motion sickness medication taken by Andrew worked a treat and after one and half hours battling the swell,being tossed up and down and side to side, we arrived on Skellig Michael. We commenced our climb of 694 rock steps created by the monks over a 700 year period between 500 AD and 1200 AD reaching the end of the first stage, a valley between the two peaks on the island where there was some soil, vegetation and a number of Puffin Bird burrows. Taking a break to admire the amazing views, then commenced out climb to the Monestary just in time to hear a tour guide explain the ins and outs of the development of the Monestary buildings including beehive shelters, cHavel, toilet and graveyard. It was such a privilege to visit this site and amazing to think that the beehive shelters are still waterproof today even after being abandoned more than 800 years ago.

Before long, it was time to make our descent trying to dodge the swooping seagulls who were after our packed sandwiches but after making it back to the boat, we set off for the smaller Skellig where more than 50,000 gannet birds call home, the second largest gannet population in the world. There were some great sights around the Skellig base with
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Yes, this way Tish
circling gannets, sunbathing seals and some windows through the island. We then returned to PortMagee with the huge swell behind us, sometimes much higher than the boat which provided an exhilarating trip back to port. We then took a trip on Valencia Island to Knightstown and then back around the Ring of Kerry to Waterville where Andrew renewed his acquaintance with the Charlie Chaplin Statue.


Additional photos below
Photos: 30, Displayed: 23


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Tish completes step 264 of 694.
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Yes, Andrew and Tish make it past the first stage
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More steps for Tish
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Tish outside one of the beehive shelters in the Skellig Michael Monestary
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We reach the entrance to the Monestary
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Tish approaches the Monestary at Skilling Michael at the top or the 694 steps
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Tish enters the Monestary doorway
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Andrew inspects one of the 1,000 year oldbeehive shelters within the Monnestary.
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Andrew and Tish at the Monestary
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Graves of some of the Monks within the Monestary on Skellig Michael
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Andrew with one of the beehive shelters at the Skellig Michael Monestary
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A looksy at Andrew and the smaller Skellig through the Monestary Church window.
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Andrew and Tish in the Skellig Michael Monestary
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No grander place for lunch than this
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Tish has some lunch tucker just below the monestry
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Tish on the descent on the Skellig Michael stairs
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Tish nearing the end of the 694 steps on Skellig Michael
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Tish on the some of the 694 stairs to reach the monestary


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