Travel.

Galway girl II: Inis Mor.

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INIS MÒR, ARAN ISLANDS.

And I knew right then I’d be takin’ a whirl, ’round the salthill prom with a galway girl.

Started Tuesday morning early with a short run along the coastline before having a really sweet departure breakfast with Charlie, who was getting ready to end his six-week European backpacking trip and start preparing for medical school. (Have I mentioned that he is a genius?)

I should probably say now that an AM run was a bad idea. A very, very, very poor life decision. So was not bringing any sunscreen to Ireland – despite the fact that this is essentially sun-deprived country.

The bus for the island ferry was to depart at 930 sharp — or so we were told. Several buses had to come to ensure everyone was accounted for. On a 70 degree F day? I can see why.

So I had originally planned on having this be a personal-time-alone-to-read-blog-and-bike day, but I met Anna from New Zealand (read, MY THIRD FRIEND!!) and we ended up spending the day together. I should also state upfront that we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into….

*Notes to know: (1) one side of the island to the next should take 30 minutes; (2) there are 9 points you want to hit; (3) we nixed one point because it included parking your bike and an hour’s walk; (4) 70 degrees. No suncreen on xt.

Let’s start with my bike, or the fact that I seriously contemplated a child’s bike because my imp sized legs made it damn near impossible to straddle the bike – so how the eff am I supposed to ride this contraption!?, and almost got hit by at least four cars trying to just start our Tour de Inis Mòr because I forgot they drive on the wrong other side of the road. #mess

Thank God Anna is a semi-established biker, otherwise I would have opted out, or attempted this on my own and be dead (via car, horse & cart, or just falling off — Stef, if you’re reading this… just like your new tri bike video…)

Our first goal was to try and make it to the seal colony…. until we realized that it was well past half an hour, we had NOT made it to the other side of the island, and all the signs here are in Gaelic.

I am still laughing. This whole day was so great in the most ridiculous of ways!

To be fair, we stopped every 5 seconds to snap photos of the most incredible landscape, cows on steroids, and made friends with a lonely horse. Then again, we had no clue how to read any of the signs… or the map they gave us. When we finally realized we had far surpassed seal point, we continued on to see Na Seqcht dTeampill, “the Seven Churches,” OR as Anna and I called it, “starts with an N and has ‘team’ in it.”

Talk about a breathtaking space. Literally breathtaking, as it was hard to breathe being around such beautiful history. At one point, Anna told me to be careful of stones I was stepping on – aka, graves. You can see (photos below) where the altar had been… absolutely incredible. After some time to take it all in, and pay respects, we (begrudgingly) climbed back on our bikes to find Dun Aengus. CUE LOUD SIGH.

By now, the sun was at its peak, and we both failed to have some sort of sensible breakfast, or pack lunch, since we had individually planned for a day of solo leisure. Despite being able to see the monument, we seemed to be biking closer, but not … that … close.

Because it requires €1and a 40 min roundtrip walk (so, not counting any time you spend up there). Right. …right.

Drained by the sun, hungry, extremely sweaty, our silent mental curses could have been heard all the way in Dublin. We were far from looney. Anna was a hilarious companion; I would not have had this amazing experience without her. (Still laughing!!) However, getting to the top was MIRACULOUS. A sign reads: One of the finest prehistoric fortresses in Western Europe, consists of three dry-stone ramperts, and the remains of a fourth the outmost of which encloses 11 acres. Outside the second rampert there is a 30 foot band of upright stone forming a defensive band or “chevaux de frise.” Considerable alterations were made in the 19th century when the buttresses in the inside wall were erected.”

I even climbed to peer over the edge by lying on my stomachs. Eyes peering over, only! Twenty minutes later, I had a mini heart attack when I thought someone had taken my bike (water deprived xt came out to play), before we mounted our bikes yet again to make our way back. Elaine, my go to gal at Kinlay House, told me I wasn’t allowed to leave the island UNTIL I had thr brown bread ice cream from Tí Watty’s. So pushing through at least 20 minutes of uphill biking AFTER Dun Aengus and still without any sort of decent sustenance, Anna and I pedaled for. our. lives.

It was worth it 🙂

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Finished our memorable day trip with some retail therapy – aran knitted sweater for her, claddagh ring for yours truly – and we passed O U T on the ferry home. I was even granted another gift upon arriving back to Galway city center: A SUNBURN { emoji heart eyes } which only means one thing: #stilltan #whogetssunburnsinireland

But okay, enough writing, here is Inis Mòr via iPhotostream:

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Came home to a well-deserved shower, and gussied up to have my one nice splurge meal in Galway. Via recommendation (Inkfingers & some ladies i met), I went to Oscar’s bistro for seafood. €15 for my pri fixe dinner of seafood spring roll, side salad with mustard vinegrette, and grilled hake, accompanied by a crisp glass of sauvignon blanc, BBYGRL DESERVED THIS:

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Followed the meal with a solo walk along the water to count my blessings before nursing my burned arms calling it a night. Just stunning, isn’t she?

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xx

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5 thoughts on “Galway girl II: Inis Mor.

  1. My daughter is a very natural writer! Dad really enjoyed reading con’s experiences and the pictures are great. Have a safe trip back to London and be sure to make a stop at Wimbledon on Friday… Thank you! Proud Papa

    Like

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