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Post Info TOPIC: Inis Mór - Home to my Soul - Where Nobody is a Stranger For Long


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Inis Mór - Home to my Soul - Where Nobody is a Stranger For Long

May 8, 2009 -

An early start with the intention of a walk to the castle before breakfast and my journey to the west coast was stymied by the downpour that greeted me as I stepped outside. Instead, I went back up to my room and finished gathering my belongings into my suitcase. After another delicious cooked to order breakfast in the Gleeson House restaurant, I lucked out and managed to load Peg up without a drop of rain. However, once I closed the Hatchback, the deluge began again. I checked out and began my Journey to the West coast and my rendezvous with Karen (youngka) and Dave at Rossaveel. We were meeting there to spend a few days on Inis Mór together. I was really looking forward to the meet-up, having been email friends with Karen for several years.

From Roscommon to Rossaveel. I tried to stay to the back roads so that I could stop for photo ops at leisure.  Just outside of Moylough, a small village in North East Galway, I cam across a fantastic Ruin, MoyloughCastle. It is a 13th century Hall House just off the N63 road. In front of the Castle was a good sized Graveyard in which I spent a good hour taking photographs. I even startled a Rabbit which had been sleeping in the tall grasses of the older end of the cemetery.

Onward towards
Galway once again, I stopped to photograph an Abbey ruin set off in the near distance. As I started to pull back out onto the N63, I saw a sign directing me to the AbbeyKnockmoyCemetery. As I turned down the small lane to the cemetery, I realized that the Abbey ruins were adjacent. I parked and walked the Cemetery admiring the carved headstones and noting that most were from the early 1900s to present day. The gate to the Abbey was locked and I was not inclined to climb over the walls to get to it. Instead, I was content to photograph it from the perimeter, thankful for an excellent telephoto lens. Abbey Knockmoy is a Cistercian Abbey founded in 1190 by the King of Connacht, Cathal O'Connor who was interred there in 1224.  As I headed back down the main road, leading to the N63 and Galway, I came across the well preserved ruins of a Mill House. I was intrigued by the Gears and mechanisms which stood outside the house itself.  I thought it was a terrific side trip. I will be back again to explore the area more thoroughly. Perhaps, I can find out who holds the key to the Abbey and be able to get in to take some interior pictures.

Onward once again toward
Galway and the dreaded congestion and roundabouts. The roundabouts were a bit dicey, as the rains had returned and the roads were a bit slick. However, I made it through them all without incident and was soon on my way towards Oughteraard.  

I stopped in Oughteraard to visit the bank, which I found closed for lunch. since I definitely needed to use the bank before I headed for Inis Mór, I took the lunch hour to explore the town and use the internet service in the Tourist Office to print out my boarding pass for the ferry. I even had time to mail out a few promised postcards.

On into Maam's Cross and southwest to Rossaveel. I was thrilled by the wonderful weather, clouds scudding across the bright blue sky as I journeyed onward to the coast. To my delight, I came across several of the
Connemara ponies as I made my way. as I photographed them, the wind picked up, tossing their manes. Even with the Pony stops, I still arrived in Rossaveel far to early for the Ferry. What else could I do but backtrack towards Galway and make a stop at one of my favorite shops, Stan Dun? I love to wander through all of the knits and the fine crystal. On most days, I would find the café open, as well. However, that is during high season and it was not open. Finished with my browsing and with no hot tea available, I headed back toward Rossaveel, even though I would be an hour and a half early for the Ferry.

I arrived at the Ferry terminal and parked in the lot directly south. As I walked through the lot toward the exit, I noticed another car pulling in and a man getting out of the driver side. As I passed, I wondered if that might be Karen's husband, Dave. As he said nothing when I passed, I continued on toward the Ferry Office to pickup my tickets. As I was coming out of the office, the same gentleman was coming toward the office. As I stepped out the door, He called me by name. It was indeed Karen's husband, Dave. We went back to their car and visited until it was time to board the Ferry.  It truly felt as if we had been friends forever. I hadn't had a thought that it would be any other way.

The Ferry ride over wasn't too bad. although a few of the swells slammed us fairly brusquely into the bay. We made good time, arriving in Kilronan at
half past seven. We ambled up the pier and picked a driver out of the van queue to take us to Man of Aran cottages. I was tickled by the apparent delight that Karen found in the landscape of Inis Mór. Joe Gill was our van driver. As we went along, he would point out things of interest. That is he was until he realized that I knew almost as much about the island and her ruins. He said I could talk and he would drive.

We arrived at Man of Aran just as Maura Wolfe, the proprietress, was coming out of the Gatehouse lodgings, which were to be our home for the next few nights. She had been dropping of extra towels and turning up the heat for us. The Gate house was a new addition which had just been completed on my last visit. The rooms are spacious and warm. the bed had plenty of pillows and extra blankets. It was very comfortable.

Dave & Karen, tired from their long day of travel, turned in as soon as we arrived. I went up to the main house for a cuppa and some catching up with Maura. I always find sitting and talking to her and Joe, her husband, to be a great source of contentment and joy. It isn't what we talk about so much as sense of belonging. As we were catching up, one of her other guests walked through the dining area. As she passed through, she heard me mention
Phoenix. She asked if I was from Phoenix and I said that I was from Tucson. It turns out that she was a member of the IrelandYes forum. She had come to Inis Mór and Man of Aran Cottages after I had made the suggestion. Small world that there were three IrelandYes forum members or Irregulars as we call ourselves at Man of Aran at the same time. Maura was delighted to see the connections.

I was in bed by
ten o'clock and looking forward to a day on the island with Karen and Dave. Maura and I had spent some time discussing the best tour. I fell asleep to the sound of crashing waves just as the storm broke overhead.

TomorrowSeven ChurchesSweater shopping Paws 'n Purrs



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Love the rabbit photo. How cool is it that the B&B was full of IrelandYes Irregulars? Glad you finally got some good weather, met up with friends new and old, and returned to the home of your soul.



"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

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Bit, once again a great story, you remembered more than me after not posting until today myself! Your write up made me feel we were back there again....Really good pics, also. Can't even think where you must have take them! Looking forward to the next "chapter"...youngka

Living in Oregon, like to travel, love going to Europe, Alaska and maybe one day China.
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