Saturday, July 6, 2013 @ 7:46 PM in 2013 Europe
Today was the best day of the trip so far. I was talking to some people in the hostel last night and one of the girls mentioned a Blasket Island tour they did yesterday. For 30 euros you get an hour long boat ride to the Blasket Islands, three hours on the island and then an hour boat ride back.
The Blasket Islands were abandoned in 1953 when the Irish government declared they could no longer keep the inhabitants safe. Everyone was moved to the mainland but some settled in Massachusetts. The ruins on the island now are in the foreground of some absolutely stunning backdrops.
I got to the Dingle Bay Charters office around 9:30 to buy my ticket for the 11:00 departure. I thought the weather would be like yesterday (sunny and warm) so I had shorts on. Fortunately I packed my long pants which I would need later on. After walking around the harbor for a bit I got on the boat. It was cloudy and the seas were rough. I didn't have high hopes for the day and was a bit disappointed I dropped 30 euros for this.
As we got closer to the island it seemed like the weather started to get better and better. We passed some amazing views of the coast on the ride out to the island and then we made our way to the island itself. There's only a very small little dock there so we had to get on a dinghy which took us onto the island itself.
From the boat you can see the ruins of the old settlement but as soon as you get on the island you can walk up to and through all the ruins. There are still a few people there who tend to some sheep and donkeys (male only) but you still have free range to explore wherever you want.
The first thing I did was I climbed up as high as I could before getting into the wind and clouds and ate lunch. The views were stunning. After that I walked down and through the ruins and then headed to the NE side of the island where there was a beach and some sheep grazing. There were also about a dozen seals swimming at the beach. A few crazy people donned swimsuits and got in the frigid water. I was not one of them.
Apparently you can camp on the island too because there were a few tents set up. It would be a great place to camp for the night since you'd be completely isolated after the last ferry left during the day until the next one arrived the following morning. It might be something to look into if I make it back over here.
We had 3 hours to spend on the island so I hiked around enjoying the views. Unfortunately my camera battery died about half way through my time on the island. Not bad considering I've been using it without recharging it for 10 days now. I spent a lot of time simply watching the ocean and mountains and enjoying the views. It was almost time for us to get back to the boat so I headed back to the ruins and waited for the dinghy to show up.
The ride back to town was a lot calmer than the way to the island. We got to see the local dolphin (Fungie) when we pulled into the harbor and everyone was excited. I guess they don't get to see too many dolphins up here, lol.
When we got back to town I came back to the hostel and started working to figure out my plan for the next few days until I meet Eric in Edinburgh. Since Dingle is so far removed from everything, trying to make a good plan was tough. I gave up and went to go eat some amazing seafood chowder at a restaurant aptly named Chowder.
I think my plan is going to be as follows: Tomorrow (Sunday) take a bus to Limerick and spend the night there. Monday, catch a bus to Doolin where I'll stay for 2 nights enjoying some peace and quiet with the Cliffs of Moher. Next, I'll head up to Galway for 2 nights and then go to Dublin for a night before catching a flight to Edinburgh on the 13th.
Posted from: Ireland