Thursday, 15 March 2007

Is this the way to Crossmolina !

On the way to Achill Island (recommended by Mike Gorman – thanks Mike!!) we had to hunt for a new gas fitting as Calor in Ireland don’t have the same fittings or gas cylinders as the UK, and we were fast running out! After much phoning and running around between Ballina and Crossmolina we finally found the Calor gas depot cunningly disguised as a Driving School! We got a new gas regulator fitting and one of the cylinders re-filled.

After a brief tour around the island, it’s joined to the mainland by a low bridge, like the one that you cross on the A87 between Invershiel and Inverinate on the way to Skye, we pitched up right on the beach behind a wall of pebbles.

The day we arrived we saw this odd cloud formation on the hill, the following day I saw this other cloud rolling down the hill, dramatic huh!

The surf here is fantastic and makes a hell of a thundering noise constantly as it pounds on the beach. You get used to it though and it diminishes a bit at low tide.

We were amazed to see the huge buds of Gunnera starting to emerge, there were large patches of it everywhere and along with hedges made from tall strap leaved plants something like cordylines, it must look quite jungly and tropical here in the summer!

We walked along to the end of the pebble and sand beach for about two and a half hours to the base of the cliffs in the early morning, I really like this picture I took then of Peter and the dogs.

In the afternoon we watched the surfers and had a fire in the evening.

We walked to the other end of the beach the next morning and spent some time rootling around in the rock pools where we found little edible crabs (Cancer pagurus), common blennies (Blennius pholis ), rock gobys (Gobius paganellus), hermit crabs (Eupagurus bernhardus) and two firsts for me, two little pipefish (Syngnathus acus) with their cute little seahorse faces and some tiny little broad-clawed porcelain crabs (Porcellana platycheles).

We went over to the other side of the island stopping off at a megalithic tomb on the way.

The weather forecast told of worsening weather, gales again, so we headed inland.


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