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Achill Island

To put the whole thing into perspective, here's where it is:-

I'd originally met young Arthur down in Ushuaia, ARG, at Christmas, 2007 and then again at the Irish HU Meet a few weeks ago. He'd been following my tracker on the website, and when it looked like I might be in the area, he emailed and invited me to join him and a couple of his mates, in camping on the beach on Achill Island. Arthur had his KLR there, and Eamon and Dermot were in Eamon's car. Shame about leaving your tent poles home, Dermot!! Two big, hefty lads in that tent ...

When I arrived about 5.00pm, the lads had just returned from climbing the mountain in the background, below.

Below: the mighty KLR

We decided to go to the pub a few miles away for dinner, (lamb's fry & bacon for me) and very nice it was, too. On the way back to camp, Eamon dropped we three off at a small bar, where we'd get to hear traditional Irish music if we were lucky, took the car back to camp, then walked back [45 mins] to join us. Unfortunately, the two musicians present seemed to prefer playing amongst, and for, themselves most of the time, although they did break out into a fairly good rendition of Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues and a few others which got all the patrons rocking and singing along

"Last drinks" was called about 1.00am, then we set off for the walk back to camp in the dark, although we had one torch between us.

On Friday, it was suggested that we go for a drive around the whole island for a looksee. And believe me, it is a beautiful island, as the following photos attest!

Above: The lads: Eamon, Arthur and Dermot, and below: with Dermot playing photographer.

We were all a bit curtious about this plant, growing in abundance all over the island. Arthur suggested it may be wild rhubarb as it looks very similar, but on closer inspection, the stems are prickly, so we assumed it's just a weed of some sort.

Below: No, you really won't make it across, Arthur!

I've mentioned "shaggy sheep" a couple of times since arriving in the UK. Well, seeing as how it's so much easier to take photos of them from a car - as they don't immediately turn tail and run as they do when the bike approaches closely - here they are.

We came across this old, but partly restored, cottage. But there "ain't no one home, Arthur".

Above: Yep, that's where we are, Eamon.

Below: Keem Beach, at the far southwest corner of the island.

Below: A mark for posterity, or until the next wave comes in

We then continued on around the island, stopping in at the hotel again, for morning tea - and to check up on who was doing what in the soccer, of course!

But all good things have to end, and it was time for me to pack up the tent and set off for the northeast of the "bigger" island. It was a great time with the lads. Thanks, guys, for inviting an old fart to join you! Hope you made your climb safely to the top of the highest mountain in Ireland, beginning at midnight on the Sunday night, the solstice.

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