Patty and I found a company that arranges walking tours in Ireland--SouthwestWalks Ireland. Through them we arranged two days of guided walking on Cape Clear and Sherkin Islands, the two islands where our great grandparents were born and raised. Our guide, Michael Barry, met us in Baltimore on Wednesday evening. This turned out to be the best decision of the trip. Everything, including meals, was arranged for us and Michael was a wonderful guide.
When we arrived on Cape Clear Island there was a van to take the luggage and parents to the guest house where we stayed--Eileen Leonard's Ard na Gaiothe. The rest of us hiked across the island. Cape Clear is quite hilly so we got a bit of a work out. Mrs. Leonard was incredibly hospitable. She had fresh scones and hot tea for us when we arrived. As the evening had turned a bit chilly both were very welcome.
After our refreshments we sorted out the room and then headed off for dinner at Ciaran Danny Mike's. It was a good meal but we were all ready for bed soon after.
The next morning we had a full Irish breakfast at Mrs. Leonard's and then everyone but Jack and Marion went off hiking. It was spitting a bit but luckily we never had heavy rain on our two hiking days.
Fastnet Light can be seen from most parts of the island. The light is four miles from the Cape Clear but even that far away it looks huge. There was a good video on the most recent building of the lighthouse at the local museum where we had lunch. There were also several memorials to the 15 sailors lost in the Fastnet Race (from Cowes in Southern England around the Fastnet Light and back to Plymouth) in 1979.
Before lunch we stopped at the goat farm for ice cream.
here for a better picture of the stones. They are thought to be thousands of years old and at one time couples married by clasping hands through the hole in the stone.
We finished our day down at the harbor waiting for the ferry to take us to Sherkin Island. We met an older woman who insisted on showing us the old Cadogan farm near the lake. This is a part of the island we had not walked. It was difficult to say no so off Jack, Patty, the old woman and I went in one of the local taxi vans.