Part 15 - On the West Coast

We all stayed in Cleggan on the beach after our long road journey (ok, so it was only 300km) and setup camp with our tents. There is no dry wood in Ireland, so the locals are very fond of burning peat briquettes, which is compressed peat bog. Lighting a fire in this way seems very odd to an Australian and i still find it quite entertaining to go lugging briquettes around where ever you go. Max who is used to Mediterranean climates, was very enthusiastic about lighting the fire. He built a lovely stone wall for the fire place.

I had a bottle of wine that needed chilling (no, very rare to find chilled wine here) so I took it down to the beach and half buried it in the sand just at tide point. I then went back to help setup the tents. Barely ten minutes had passed when i rushed back down to see how my bottle of wine was doing. To my horror, it had completely disappeared. 'Oh no, the cruel Atlantic has taken my wine!'. The tide was coming in quicker than i had anticipated, and so it had buried the wine with fresh sand. But where, i did not know. So for the next frantic twenty minutes, here i was, digging, plowing, trawling the Atlantic sea front, searching desperately for the only bottle of white i had in my possession. I was up to my knees in cool water and i was beginning to give up. Well in fact, i had given up. Then i turned around to start digging again (for the third time) when i discovered the bottle of Jacobs Creek just lying there all innocent like. To my credit, i was digging to far down and had precipitated some erosion which unearthed (unsanded) the lost bottle.

Next day, after a night by the camp fire, we headed back to Westport and left Max and Fran to head back to Dublin. We instead, headed North to Achill island for our second night camping. Once we got ourselves on the island (using a simple bridge, really no bother) we drove around admiring the spectacular views of broken and battered coastline, old ruins, nonchalant horses and lots of sheep. In fact, these are the wisest sheep i have ever come across. Not a silly one among them. We visited Keel bay, a bog digging, cliffs and an old abandoned town made of stone houses.

We drove as far as we could until we reached the last beach on Achill Island called Keem Bay. There we spent the night on a secluded hillside setting overlooking the bay and quiet beach below. The sheep kept us company after the sun went down and the next morning was nice and slow, as we waited for the Trangia to cook breakfast and boil the coffee. The kombi (a white dot on the hillside in one of the photos) that also stayed the night, reminded us of how we used to camp in luxury when we travelled around Australia in our own Kombi.