Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ireland trip Day 8, Inis Mohr, Islands of Aran

Off early on a cloudy and gray day, no rain but no sun either, bummer.  Heading to the island of Inis Mohr, population 900.  Because it's an island we had to take the ferry and it was a fairly rough ride over, this following a rough bus ride-had to haul out the sea bands and my I-pod or it would have been ugly.  We walked up the hill from the ferry to a pub for a talk by Maureen O'Flannery (I know the Maureen is right but Mark kept talking about her Irish name and her English name and I got confused, nothing new there!) a local woman who its a retired archeologist, she spoke about the history, archeology and life of the island and it's people.  Very interesting.  Afterwards, we took a van ride to the end of the island to Dun Aonghasa, (sounds like dun angus.) a ring fort part of which dates to the bronze age.  Much of the island looks like the burren as it was a part of the burren in pre-history, here cattle still roam over it. 

 The long way up Dun Aonghasa! What a walk,  the view is spectacular.  The ever present stone walls seem higher here. 
 This is the view from about half way up.
 The stone walls of the outer fort.

 The walls of the fort from inside the first ring

 The Long way down from the top, sure am glad I bought and used a Trekking pole.
More stone walls and a house inside. There are many more ruins here on the island, the locals are reluctant to destroy the homes of their ancestors.  Everything made of stone and standing roofless, all wood gone in fact.  Our guide said the houses must be painted every 5 years, even using the best latex paint.  On our way back to the ferry he took us by the seven churches site with it's ancient cemetery.  The cemetery while holding ancient graves is still in use and where our guide "will land one day" as many of his family are buried there.  Then we saw the lighthouse, from afar. Just made Mark's 4:40 deadline!  Another very rough crossing on the ferry and bus ride back to Galway.  I am so tired I cannot eat and so am off to sleep quite early.

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