Doonbeg to Inishmore 56km
Amanda and Jamie have done something really special at Strand camping. Having waved the girls away at 7am,we also did something sensible, launched at high tide onto a mirror flat sunny sea. Mutton Island came and went and we cut across Liscannor bay- surf beaches where sea kayaks ARE NOT welcome- angled towards Hags Head and the inevitable standard pattern watchtower. Although it looked like you could spit at it, it was a few hours before we got there. Now being dutiful boys, we were told by Jon-he who-must-be – obeyed-Hynes (mainly ‘cos he gives such superb advice) – that the cliffs of Moher had to be seen. Matt and the west Clare paddlers had also told us exactly the same. So we trundled towards the great arch under the head, most impressive, especially all the teetering car sized blocks above just itching to rain down on visiting jocks….. and so through the arch into the amphitheater, a truly monumental spectacle , flat calm, no swell and brilliant sunlight. We’ve seen higher cliffs and bigger stretches (Sybil Point to name one) but the rock scenery and the sheer (sic!) scale of these cliffs is remarkable, underlined by the dozens of tiny figures on the top.
As the tour boats arrived we crossed to Inisheer and after a brief stop pegged round the bottom of Inish maan and up Gregory’s sound to camp along the N shore of Inishmore. Amazing limestone shores and walls and rain water collection tanks everywhere. A quick pub visit, local research you understand, clearly obtaining fluid is important in Aran…. and so to bed… yes…. another 5 am rise in the pipeline. As long as the weather lets us we can’t pass over the chance to get across these exposed stretches of coastline. These are committing places and we are SO lucky to have been able to see them in great conditions. A big factor is the good advice from paddlers, coastguard and locals.