So on the last day of the trip the morning brought Irish weather rain and limited visibility. We were scheduled to take a ferry to the closest of the Aran Islands and because the weather and the seas were quite iffy they gave us other options but we raised our hand for the island because no matter what I would rather be on the water - so I was gong for that choice even if it was only me and the guide Hugh who was also determined to go.
however, as it turned out - everyone ultimately picked the island and off we all went to the dock and across the water. and no- the photos below are not of our shipwreck- LOL - they are of another shipwreck - we arrived safe and sound and the weather improved as the day went on-
We started with a haywagon tour of the three sights on the island LOL - the ship wreck and the lighthouse and the cemetery -
we huddled into a pub for some lunch and songs from Johnsmith and our group member Anthony Milan...
there is air service and a landing strip on the island
a shipping container serves as the local "chipper" fish and chips stand-
horse and buggy as well as bikes are transportation options for tourists wanting to explore the island
jelly fish in the harbor's clear water
by the time we leave the island (shown below as the boat headed away) the weather had turned clear and lovely -
we made a pass by the Cliffs from the sea but i actually think the views were too far away to really get the scale of the cliffs - maybe with a telephoto lens but not with my camera and a moving boat...
so we gathered for a last meal together and then returned to the meeting room at Fitz's to do a farewell "go-around" and share thoughts about the trip
the light stayed with us until late in the evening the whole trip and so there were some lovely shots on the way to dinner as we saw our last evening - for this trip - in Ireland
a very nice trip which was made even better by the terrific hosts Johnsmith and his wife Jo, guide Hugh and driver Fionan... shown below in a photo by Tim Brockish
and I will leave you with a Johnsmith lyric from the tune that everyone who takes an Inishfree tour takes to heart- it is called Safe Home and this lyric is inscribed in the Dingle pub of Tommy O'Sullivan with sentiments written by many of the musician leaders of the Inishfree Tours that Johnsmith founded with his pub owner partner and dear friend (passed away) and then he and Jo took on the responsibilities and now Hugh is stepping into the ownership role with a partner as they buy out John and Jo... best wishes to them all - may they continue to have success in all they do.
so this concludes the story of our trip to Ireland and Phil is already set on going back in 2019 (with a year off for daughter Angela's wedding in June 2018) - so let him know if you want to join in the fun... Oh I lied- one more photo from Tim Brockish which is a good sign off-