Once we passed passed through Galway, we inched our way deep into the heart of the Irish landscape that is Connemara: Rolling hills, spectacular mountains, bogs, sheep, and traditional architecture. All breathtaking. The journey to our destination took twice what it should due to multiple stops; jumping out of the car to compose, focus, and click, pause for a moment to be totally awed, then back into the car and on the road again. The kids weren’t impressed with our behavior, but understandably they were tired after a six hour car journey.
Two months has passed since visiting Clare Island in the west of Ireland: It seems like years. I first visited the island thirty years ago. My memories are vague, but I remember spending the night there after my great uncle – an island resident, and lighthouse keeper – insisted we spend the night.
Home, sweet (temporary) home. One thing I really loved about Clare Island was the fact that there were no manicured lawns anywhere. The small areas of land that were not in use for sheep grazing or agriculture were used to grow vegetables and herbs by, and for, the residents.
Traditional Currachs used for fishing in Clew Bay.
A few days before our arrival, a local man lost his life while using a currach similar to those in the photo. It was the first drowning on the island in 90 years, and the atmosphere was very solemn. The water was pretty choppy for August; I can only imagine how rough it gets during the stormy winter months.
We spent one full day on the beach – from low tide to high tide. It was possibly the best day we had all summer; 25C degrees, blue skies, no wind, and crystal clear waters. I swam more that day than I did during June and July.
Our point of departure/arrival on the mainland, with Clare Island’s distinct profile in the background.
I can’t wait to go back to Clare Island – ideally I would like to spend a full year there to experience the four seasons, and immerse myself in the islanders life. Until then, Clare Island, you remain in my thought and dreams.