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Achill Island

May 17, 2008

Keem Lookout

corey says…My taste for the sea hadn’t been quenched yet, so I decided to immerse myself in Achill Island. I had been there several years ago, but I was on a marathon tour that trip and didn’t even go all the way to the end of the island on that trip. I really missed out.

This time I was going to take my time, and I spent the whole day touring. It has cliffs and villages and lots of beaches. I hardly saw any cars as I was going along, but there were several tourists at each stop I made along the way. The island does a good job of distributing people.

I let myself get a little lost as I traveled along. Since I wasn’t paying much attention to the map, there were several times I had no idea where I was…and that didn’t bother me.

Sea Cliff Hike
When I got to the beach at Keem, I decided to hike up the mountain. There is a path up there, but it’s a bit tough to spot as the whole hillside is grassy and boggy. I just pointed myself upwards and was on my way.

From the top, I was able to look out from some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe…and look back at the beautiful beach in Keem Bay.

Back at the car park, I looked around at the license plates…Great Britain, France, Germany and the Netherlands were the plates on most of them. I didn’t hear any North American accents here either. Many of the vehicles were motor homes (a much more common sight on Irish roads these days). Several of these were left-hand drive…I can’t imagine driving on the opposite side of the road with a car like the ones at home…I certainly be completely confused as to what side of the road I’m supposed to be on.

Abandoned Village & Megalithic Tomb
I had read about the abandoned village on the island, but was very surprised when I saw it. It was an extensive community and there were the remains of so many buildings there.

It was quite eerie seeing all this rubble…yet in the distance, I could spot the bright whitewash of the new holiday homes and housing estates. I have to say, the village is a must-see on Achill.

The megalithic tomb is worthwhile as well, but the people I met on the way up were lamenting the climb up the hill. It was a pretty good hike up there, so only the reasonably fit could get the job done.

Homeward Bound
It was close to six when I got off the island, and I had to decide what I was going to do for the night. I had plans for Sunday evening, so I knew I’d be home tomorrow. The big question was, do I find a place to stay, or do I suck it up and drive all the way back to Tipperary.

I felt like I could make the trip, and I didn’t want to pay for another night’s accommodation if I didn’t have to. A few hours later, I was home at Knockahopple…and an hour after that, I was asleep in my own bed.

This Week’s Photo Album

My Ireland Expense Report

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Merlene permalink
    May 18, 2008 9:21 PM

    We also climbed the hill to the megalithic tomb. We got quite a ways up and I said “if it’s not that spot on the mountain, I’m not going farther”. Luck was on my side because that was the tomb and I was so glad I climbed the hill. Love your travel blog.


  2. May 18, 2008 11:06 PM

    Thanks for the comment. I was about reaching the same point in the uphill hike. Once the path opened up to the field, I thought, “how the heck am I going to find this thing now?” Presto, there it was.

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