Well the good weather has disappeared so that must mean I’m on the move again! Heading to counties Kerry and Clare in Ireland’s southwest and once more packing for 4 seasons!
We spent a few days in Kerry last summer and as I looked out at Skellig Michael I swore that if I were ever in Kerry again in summertime, I’d make the trip. Of course that was highly unlikely to happen because post covid I’d be off the island in a shot and all my travel fund would be spent on foreign shores!
So … here I am! And yes – I’ve booked Skellig Michael for next week. I’m totally ill equipped for the adventure – bad on boats and no head for heights -should be fun! Fun, that is, if we get going at all -it’s weather dependent and it’s not looking good at the moment! It’s not a matter of bumping the trip to another day – boats are usually fully booked so if you don’t get out on your designated sailing then bad luck – see you next year!
The UNESCO listed island of Skellig Michael is the site of an old Irish monastery. Monks occupied this isolated place from the 6th century. Situated about 12km from shore, conditions must have been harsh – especially in winter. Days would have been filled with prayer and physical work. Their diet probably consisted of fish and bird eggs. By the 12th/13th century, the monks had relocated to a priory on the mainland but it’s thought that they continued to use the island as a place of pilgrimage during the summer months.
It is a testament to the skills of those monks that so much can still be seen today in its original form. The monastery is accessed by over 600 steps and is made up of churches, the famous bee hive huts (where the monks slept) the cemetery and garden. There is a hermitage on the other island peak.
Of course, Star Wars fans will recognise the location from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.
I’ve spent the past few evenings phoning bars and restaurants, trying to get dinner reservations for indoor dining. I’d say at least half of those I’ve spoken to are either not considering indoor dining for now or are not taking bookings – citing staffing issues, unclear guidelines and a sour taste left from the number of ‘no shows’ last year. I persevered – I’m not interested at this stage of my life in queuing outside an establishment for up to an hour in the hope of getting an indoor table…. not in Irish weather! And I think I’m sorted…so at least I’ll be fed!
I married a Clare man but it’s years since we actually did any touring as such in the county and I’ve never written even one word about it. So we’re going to spend a few days on the Clare coast before we come back to Dublin.
As with the Mayo trip in June, I’ve scheduled a few challenges over the next 10 days or so – but I won’t be blogging as such. Apologies in advance if I don’t get to reply to you for a while but I will catch up once I’m back in Dublin.
Meanwhile, stay safe y’all and I’ll ‘see’ you in August.
Slán go fóill (Goodbye for now….) Arís (again!)