The post-Tbex trip was packed with activities. We explored the west corner of Ireland with its wild coastline, endless pastures, picturesque hills and spectacular fjord (the one and only in Ireland). Apart of delicious local food we had an excellent opportunity to get a good sense of attractiveness of Wild West Coast. For me it was a perfect off the beaten track destination: it combines unspoiled nature with no crowds and impressive cultural heritage. The weather might be challenging but our example shows that despite lack of sun it is still an attractive place.
Great Western Greenway
To give a bunch of bloggers bicycles and a map with indications where to go is enough to ensure they’ll have a great time. In a cloudy afternoon we cycled a short piece of Great Western Greenway from Mallaranny to Newport. This is very short and easy piece of a 42 long trail that stretches along the old railway from Westport to Achill, along the coast of Clew Bay.
Well, as they say in the UK: security first! It all started with helmets, high-visibility (HV) clothing and individual adjustment of bikes rented. When everybody was ready we started our short ride towards south. Regrettably, the weather was rather poor. Although it was not raining the view was limited by clouds and mist. Even though, the hills on our lefthand side and the bay at our righthand side were lovely. I can only imagine how beautiful it is when the sun is shining.
The way is well prepared and fit to the needs of cyclists and walkers. We were not the only users of the way: every few minutes families with kids and individual riders were passing by. The way is used exclusively by cyclists and walkers and with good road signs is perfectly safe. It took us a while to arrive to the finish point of our ride mainly because every few meters someone was taking pictures. Well, that how bloggers work. It was an excellent idea to ride a bike after hours spent in a bus, to breath deeply, to feel the smell of the ocean, to watch sheep and cows having their meals, and to move a bit!
The next day our outdoor activities continued. Each blogger could decide whether wish to sail the traditional boat called the Galway Hooker or walk to the Moyrus beach. I picked the walking option hoping for beautiful photos of the bay, beach and hills. Again, the weather was not good enough to do any spectacular pictures. I’m showing here how the beach looks like in a good weather, just to give you an idea (courtesy of Walking West).
And the short walk near the local graveyard, between typical Irish stonewalls looks like this:
I think that despite the poor weather the places like Moyrus are always interesting. First, the fog creates a mystic atmosphere, the sound is muffled, the colors are blurred and you feel like the nature cannot be managed. Then, walking along a tiny road framed in stone walls towards a graveyard and the bay is exciting. Our guide from Walking West was fantastic. He was telling the stories about great famine in Ireland, local religious conflicts and interesting anecdotes about people buried on the graveyard (sailor, singer, famine sufferers). The Moyrus beach as we saw it was more like this:
Graveyard immersed in a fog looked like this:
The sea was calm, the sand was wet and the beach was full of shells, crabs, seaweeds and spectacular rocks. At some point we saw people riding on their horses, which for some people might be their dream come true. The horses looked magnificent! And guess what I found on a beach? Yes, of course, the shells of St. James (again!). I have already given them to my friends, one of whom walks the Way of St. James next week. All in all, peaceful walk at the Moyrus beach was wonderful. Getting closer to the ocean, walking on the green grass, watching the abandoned church and school was something that I needed very much in our travel rush.
In a Sunday afternoon we had another amazing activity organized and it was a real joy to all adrenaline junkies among us! The Killary Adventure park filled the adrenaline need for the whole afternoon. Again, we could pick up the activity: Clay Pigeon Shooting or Giant Swing. Although it would be great to shoot a pigeon I chose the Giant Swing. It might be tricky to explain how it worked so have a look at the picture first (pictures are blurred because it was raining, dark and we were on the move, sorry).
As you can see there were two seats that were taken up first, and then with a handle pull we suddenly dropped down and swung. It was awesome! I didn’t expect such a pleasure from a swing but it was really great!
I shared this adventure with Nick, Johnny and Erin. After our swings (each of us got a chance to do it twice!) we could heat ourselves in a nearby base: the K2 centre. We were welcomed by one of the owners of the Killary Adventure and her daughter with Irish Coffee and warm fireplace. She was telling us the stories of her own travels and adventures: the honeymoon was spent on a cruise and it would not be wired unless you think that she and her husband crossed the Atlantic Ocean by themselves in a boat. I would say these people have a very good sense of adventure!
Tired of adrenaline? Check this cutest museum in Dublin here!