Friday, 18 September 2015
Achill Island. Ballycroy National Park. Wild Atlantic Way. Ireland.
The next day, after leaving the hostel on Achill Island, (see previous post) we had intended going up Croagh Patrick, but the clouds were right down over the summit and at 764 metres, 2507 feet, most of its bulk had been invisible since we had arrived. At our age we have no inclination to climb mountains in thick clag or rain, preferring to get a view from the summit if possible.
The top photo is the view from the summit looking over towards Croaghaun, our summit in the last post.
This is the Ballycroy National Park, still in Co Mayo, an area of outstanding bog land which contains the Nephin Beg Range, which must be one of the remotest set of mountains in Ireland with long walks in just to reach the base of the hills.
Although the cliffs are much lower on this coast they have a nice geometric feel to them and due to massive winter storms dumping loads of salt water inland, bare stretches of shattered rock cover large areas, turning the coastline into a virtual desert of clean individual slabs ripped off by the waves. Blow holes are a feature here also.
For those wanting a glimpse of the power of the sea this excellent video gives you a taste of the huge rollers that can occur off the west coast of Ireland. I've seen pro surfers doing this looking slick and in control but body boarding in massive waves looks harder and more brutal somehow. 50% surfing- 50% painful wipe-outs. The Atlantic is consistently the roughest ocean on the planet and every year the storms seem to get bigger and more impressive thanks to climate change.