Ferry from Doolin to Aran Islands (Inisheer)

The harbor at Doolin was windy, but not as cold as Brian suggested. He went to the dock to secure our tickets. Merrianne and I walked outside.
Got a chance to feed crows on the boat ramp.
That’s our distinctive gold bus behind the fluke, where the rest of the group stayed until it was time to board the ferry.
I enjoyed riding on the top deck of the ferry, where it was less crowded.

John met us at the dock, and led us up to Cafe Una, where Una said we were very welcome. That’s a thing that many people seem to say, here as a greeting – “You are very welcome,” or a similar thing in Irish meaning “a thousand (or hundred thousand) welcomes.” I had doubts that we would all fit into the covered wooden wagon, but we did. Brian stayed back at the cafe.

John drove the tractor, and Una sat in the back with us and narrated. It was raining lightly practically all day long.
One of the few solar installations I’ve seen on this trip. Given the commonly rainy weather, the rarity of solar is not a surprise. In earlier days, people on the island would trade fish for peat, which they burned for heat and cooking.

Archaeology indicates that there were once trees on the island, but those are long gone. Arable soil has to be made by putting down seaweed. I didn’t see any crops growing. I think most of the livelihood comes from tourism nowadays, and supplies come from the mainland.

The site of an ancient church (maybe 6th century IIRC), and crypt. The part we see may not be quite that old. It’s about 5 meters down from ground level. Legend said that anyone who passed through the narrow forgiveness window would have all their sins forgiven. Una said we could try. No thanks, I’m covered.

After the tractor tour, we had soup and sandwiches back at Cafe Una. The tomato basil soup was especially good on a cold and rainy day.

The ferry ride back from the island was even rougher, but in fact, this was one of the most fun things on the trip for me. Large waves were coming in from the starboard side, perpendicular to our course. The ship was rolling quite a bit. I later heard that more than a few passengers vomited down in the cabin. No one on the upper deck, out in the wind and cold, had any trouble.

In the evening, we went to a dinner hosted by Sarah and Sean. Sarah is a Montessori teacher, while Sean teaches math and science at a secondary school for boys.

Home-hosted dinner prepared by Sarah. Roast chicken is very similar to what we’d been having on this trip. There were also raw peanuts in the shell (the smaller Spanish type), because Halloween is near. They give out raw peanuts for Halloween.
Every Irish meal seems to have dessert. Apple crumble and ice cream, very popular.
Sean plays accordion. He also plays guitar, and sings.
Sarah does a brush dance while Sean accompanies.

Long day.

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