We continued our journey around the Wild Atlantic Way and headed for the beauty of County Galway. Given our tight schedule, we unfortunately didn’t have time to explore County Clare and the Burren. They’ll have to wait for another trip in the future.
After stopping for a bit of a nap on the way, we reached Galway and settled into our city centre apartment. That evening we ventured out for a stroll around the city and squeezed our way into a couple of the jam packed pubs to sample the city’s lively atmosphere.
The following morning it was up and about early for our trip out to the Aran Islands. We took the ferry from Ros a’ Mhíl which was a pleasantly smooth and fast journey and before long we were on Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands. We were super excited for this part of the trip as we were going to be hiring a tandem bike! I know I know, so cheesy and touristy but you only live once eh?
We made our way to the bike rental place from the ferry and before long we were on two wheels and making our way south to Dún Aonghasa, a Bronze Age fort perched on top of the cliffs high above the Atlantic Ocean. First constructed around 1100BC, the site has been restored in recent years and is perhaps the most popular tourist attraction on the island.
Speaking of tourists, there were a LOT of them! I last visited the island in 2008 as part of my University photographic thesis project. It was a bit of a shock to see what difference ten years had made. What had been a bit of a sleepy seaside village was now a bustle of activity and the road to the fort was filled with cyclists on rented bikes.
The last stop before the fort where you have to dismount was littered with bicycles, so much so that the bike parking area was overflowing and we had to lock our tandem up next to a wall outside. The walk up to the fort was busy too with plenty of families enjoying the warm weather.
After wandering around the fort for a bit and cringing at the number of people getting dangerously close to the edge, we decided to go look for the Wormhole, a completely natural pool carved into the rock. What makes it so interesting is that it doesn’t look natural. There’s straight edges all around and we don’t think of nature as being capable of doing that. The scenery all around the Wormhole is really interesting with rocks weathered into all sorts of shapes and sizes.
We eventually found what we were looking for and after dodging some cows who were enjoying the cliff-side view, we gazed down into the rock pool from the same vantage point the crazy Red Bull Cliff Divers would have had when they visited.
The journey back to Kilronan was a pleasant one as we had grown more confident on the tandem bike and have developed a good rhythm. We stopped to chat and cuddle a couple of donkeys before settling into the local pub at Kilronan for a nice cold drink in the sunshine.
We spent the evening wandering around Galway city once more before hitting the road again the following morning towards our next destination, Achill Island. We couldn’t drive through Connemara without stopping at the beautiful Pines Island Viewpoint to get that iconic picture postcard view……complete with power cable right across the middle of it haha 🙂