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Published: July 18th 2022
Captured picture of the rock on the way out from Portmagee.
One shinning day in July 2022 Bird and HP hopped abord a boat for a one hour ride to Skellig Michael that mystic home of ancient monks and puffins. Monks arrived at Michael during the sixth century, not long after the remnants of the Western Roman Empire were extinguished. They scratched out a meager existence until the early 12th century, eventually being driven ashore where another monastery was established boasting only meager remains. But Michael's are impressive, and all are at least one thousand years old,
Landing upon the island apparently can be something of an acrobatic act with our guidebook likening it to "jumping off a trampoline onto an ice ring". In fact boat captains report they are able to affect successful landings on only five days per week, which created no small amount of anxiety for the passengers. No such difficulty for us with twelve passengers exiting without incident. After a forceful safety briefing emphasizing the steep unsteady rock steps (after all they are well over a thousand years old) and the complete absence of guard rails, we set out. Well, two thirds of us did, the remaining third either electing not to make the journey or returning
What you see is not snow but rather some of the 20,000 Gannets and their attempt to fertilize the island.
to the base soon after beginning the ascent. Bird indicates she saw "five or six" from ours and other groups returning on their bun (Irish and English for rear); they would bump down from one step to the next. Not so for the oldest member of the group as he scampered up the steep terrain with the kids clicking shots of puffins and the island along the way. Just an amazing journey. Arriving at the top in the Monastery a guide provided interesting history and informed us of their work schedule-fifteen consecutive days at the site in primitive surroundings followed by eight off.
We had previously labeled Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock in Norway) as the most amazing land form. Well, make room as this place requires a seat at the table. We had expected quite a bit given the billing; the experience well exceeding those high expectations.
As indicated at the last post the island merits two posts. This one will will contain pictures of the island's perilous topography and where the monk's resided, while an accompanying post will reveal puffins, actually many, many puffins.
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