Road to the Lighthouse

My brother James, visited from Australia a few weeks ago and we spend some time together. One day we decided to take the ferry over to Clare Island. It’s a small island at the entrance to Clew Bay and is home to about 145 people.
The day was sunny and dry as we took the 15 minute crossing. My brother came equipped with his sketching kit while I, as always had my camera handy. I also brought my bike in order to have a cycle around.

The ferry docked and we climbed up to the pier with the other passengers. Having our priorities right, we immediately set off in search of coffee. A task easier said than done at 11.30 on a Tuesday morning on a remote island off the west coast off Ireland!

Eventually we came across a local tavern and the much needed black nectar. We were informed by the lady of the tavern that the confectionery on offer in Anna’s coffee shop up the road was “lovely”. However, it being Tuesday, Anna’s was closed!

After we had sated our thirst, James decided to “wander around” and sketch a few things. I got on my bike and headed off in the direction of the only road on the island. It was a bit of an uphill slog and the road surface was not like the road surfaces that I am used to. But the scenery was beautiful and there is a sense of having the whole island to yourself. Many sheep, one car and a few tourists later I reached the lighthouse at the top of the hill. The lighthouse has now been transformed into luxury accommodation, so access to it is restricted. Bah! Go check out their website. http://www.clareislandlighthouse.com/en/

Right next to the lighthouse are very steep cliffs populated with thousands of birds with breath-taking views out over the Atlantic. There were a few German tourists having lunch and basking in the sunshine. I stopped for a while and took a few snaps. Then I cycled over to where this photo is from and admired the 360 degree view. I felt was the top of the world … and for one brief second, it was.

The cycle back down to the pier was a lot easier than the cycle up. When I caught up with James, his sketchbook was a little fuller and he was ready to leave. So, we boarded the early ferry and watched Clare Island dissappear under the boats wake. I will go back. Click on the photo to see it bigger. Thanks for reading.

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