As the rains began to fall I made for the main area next to the docks where there were some restaurants and shops and so-forth. Even with the precipitation I was struck by the stark beauty of this humble fishing community.
As I continued to ride the rain began to come down in earnest so I put on the hustle and made my way to the fish n’ chip shop I had passed earlier. Parking the bicycle outside I went inside and placed an order for the catch of the day. After they called my number and I collected my food I went out on the covered patio and had a seat.
My bus back on the mainland was not scheduled to pick me up for another 4 hours so there was no point in leaving right away. The dock on the mainland was just a parking lot where buses came and went as they dropped off tourists looking to catch the ferry to the islands.
I sat in the fish n’ chips shop and made friends with the local wharf cat who seemed content to beg for scraps from the wet and bedraggled tourists.
After I sat for a while the rain began to slack a bit and I decided to return my rented bicycle and have a go at the island on foot. As I was leaving the bike shop I was accosted by eager tour bus drivers offering a three hour tour of the island that included a trip up to Dun Aengus, a stone fort on the west side of the island.
I decided to pay the 10 Euro and take the tour. We drove past endless stone walls and got a bit of the back story on the island from our tour guide as we worked our way to the far side of the island.
Once we arrived we were given an hour and a half to climb the hill and explore the ruins.
It was a wet, slippery and precarious climb up the stony hillside to reach the top where the ruins of the 3,000 year old stone fort stood watch on the rocky shore of Inis MÃ³r, but the view was spectacular (even with the rain). At the very top, within the stone walls of the ruins you could peer out across the vast ocean, squint and imagine New York in the far, far distance.
There were no railings here, no signs warning of the danger. Only a wet, rocky terrain that abruptly ended in a 300 foot plummet into the ocean below…
Of course this meant that I had to get as close as possible and peer over the edge…
I was probably taking a bigger risk than someone as clumsy as I am should have been…but there I was, on the edge of the world and it was spectacular.
I was so glad that I didn’t let a little rain deter me from having such a grand finale to such a wonderful trip.