Oct 1: Killary Harbour and Fjord

Woke up to another beautiful sunny day! It’s very cool to see the difference in the landscape surrounding us when the sun shines on it, especially the mountains. Nooks and cranes you didn’t know where there are suddenly front and centre, basking in the warm glow of sunshine.

I had a bit of a migraine headache so popped back into bed for a nap after lathering myself in peppermint essential oil. Mom took advantage of the quiet time and made lunch and tea for our picnic.

Feeling somewhat better, we packed up the car with all our gear (rain weather, fair weather, warm weather and camera equipment, water and food!) and were off to visit my most favourite spot thus far: Killary Harbour and that amazing fjord. What a treat to drive the Wild Atlantic Way again. It most definitely is wild in both landscape (rugged hills with mountain sheep) and narrow roads with little to no room between the edge of the pavement and the icy water below. Mom drove which meant I was closer to the edge and did my best to look forward and take pictures than look down at how close we actually were to the edge. Especially when we met oncoming traffic. Kind of reminds me of the Cabot Trail only multiply that by 100, add in driving on the left with people who are just beginning to drive on the left and that equals a fun and scary ride of a lifetime!

Part way through this trek, we decided to pull off to the side and have lunch. I presumed we’d sit on a rock on the safe side, but Mom, being a fan of water, preferred to cross the road, climb over the ragged stone fence, drop down to the steep slope of a minuscule piece of land that dropped down into black chilly looking water, to sit in or near sheep poop, eat lunch, drink tea and admire the scenery. Of course, I couldn’t let her do this on her own, to followed along, doing my best to not pull a Wanda and fall face first (or ass first) into the water. We got settled and, to be honest, it was a lovely spot, until the wind picked up and the dark cloud moved in above us, then opened up and dropped it’s raindrops on us! Thankfully it was only a mild shower, and the wind was only a little bitting. The good news is the tea was quite warm and the promise of heat in the car was in our near future.

Tummies full and bladders not quite yet, we were off to explore more beauty!

Remember that ceremonial bit I mentioned in my last post, well I was guided to bring some earth and a stone from home and place it here in Ireland. At first I thought I would place it where I found the Quinn farm but when I got there, the bag containing the small pebble of Perkins clay and heart stone was missing. I looked through all of my bags but couldn’t find that small bag. Oh well, I guess it’s not meant to be. Funny enough, when I arrived back at the cottage and emptied the car, I found the little bag, right underneath my bag. I swear it wasn’t there when I looked for it earlier! So I felt my spirit team and family were telling me to put the clay and stone somewhere I felt connected to, somewhere that made my heart swell, and that is precisely what I did.

We drove along and just like that I saw the place. It was lovely and made my heart sing. Mom pulled the car over, I got out and, after a moment of basking in the moment, I dropped the small clump of clay and the tiny stone into the river. Of course I took many pictures of the spot and then returned to the car.

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We had just started driving again, turned around a bend in the road and I noticed the biggest, brightest rainbow in the field, over the spot where I had just put my treasures from home! “Oh my God, Stop!” I now know those are NOT the words or tone of voice to use when I need Mom to stop the car as I almost gave her heart failure. At least until she saw what I saw. She quickly put the car in reverse but it was too slow for me and I jumped out of the car, cameras in hand, and watched with awe the most beautiful rainbow ever.

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I took pictures and video and just watched it. Eventually I got back in the car and we marveled at the timing and the location and how it seemed like a sign. Then a car slowed down, the driver peering at us I guess trying to figure out what we were doing. Then he saw the rainbow, pulled his car over, jumped out with his camera and headed down to the river to get a picture. Then another car with a male driver also pulled over and he came running out with camera in hand and ran to the fence line to take pictures. I stood watching the two of them and was surprised that their first reaction was to trespass to get the shot, where as mine was to watch from the distance. Maybe I’d be a better photographer if I did whatever it takes to get the shot, but that’s just not me. I’d rather capture the moment from my perspective and share that version with the world versus disrupting nature or society for the perfect picture.

Anyway, it was a very special moment and I hesitated to leave but the moment was over when the others joined so we slowly drove away.

The awe factor just kept growing the closer we got to Killary Harbour and in amongst those amazing mountains. No picture I have taken or will take can do it justice. This is a place you just need to visit.

While having our pictures taken at the Wild Atlantic Way sign post, a young man driving the coolest camper van every, drove up. He and Mom started chatting and I soon joined in. Turns out he’s a musician from Cork who just up and left his job to live his dream. His grandad passed away and with his inheritance he bought this old van, fixed it up and with geraniums on the dash, he’s traveling around Ireland. We had a great chat and then we were off to Kylemore Abbey. I didn’t want to visit the Abbey or walk the grounds. I just wanted to see it and take a few pics and then be off. Which is just what we did. As we were walking back to the car, who did we meet but our musician friend! We had another great chat and a good laugh and then we parted ways.

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We decided to drive to the family farm again and have another look around. We drove to the bridge and I was in awe of mother nature as I watched the sky dance in the water. Clouds and sun were reflecting and it was oh so beautiful!

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From there we headed home. It was quite dark as we drove through Westport. It was the first time we drove through and it was so quiet! With all the shops closed for the night and only the pubs open, there were some lineups on the street for some of the pubs, but most of the town was pretty quiet. We drove through and stopped at the Tavern restaurant (Murrisk, Westport, Co. Mayo) once again. We both tried the fish and chips and it was yummy!

When we got home, the sky was clear and the stars were bright. After packing a few things up and doing a load of laundry, I picked up my tripod and camera and made my way to the backyard to take a few more night shots and then I was off to zzzzz land. Actually that’s not quite true. I was up for hours downloading photos from my camera card – I took over 900 photos yesterday and that’s before I took the night shots, so I needed to make room for tomorrow’s adventures.

Tomorrow will be a busy day packing up and tidying the cottage before we leave for Quin, Co. Clare. We plan to visit the Burren and those cliffs, you know the ones, they’re kind of famous? 😉

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