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Aran Islands

Location: Aran Islands, Ireland

These stone walls literally COVER the Aran Islands. They serve two purposes - pastures for the animals, and windblocks to help keep the few inches of shallow soil from blowing away. (CURSE THE IRISH WIND.) Besides, what else are the people that live there going to do with all the rocks on the islands? May as well build stone walls in their spare time...

View on Inishmore (Inis Mor in Irish), the largest of the three Aran Islands off the West coast of Ireland. This view is looking out over Galway Bay to the mainland. Hard to see, though, because the morning was a very cloudy/hazy day.

View of my path twisting its way out to the edge of the island and the ocean.

I ended up biking on this once I headed off the main road. Let me rephrase that. I wasn't biking, I was HURTLING through time and space over grass and rocks, desperately clinging to the handle bars. It was a riot. I haven't had that much fun on a bike since who knows when.

After using a bus and then a boat to reach Inis Mor, the mode of transportation for the day was Bike.

Peering through one of the walls...

Back on a slightly more normal road, Rachel looks out over the lovely view... and proceeds to fall over in horror as she realizes that she still has to bike all the way to that far cliff edge in the distance in order to get to the fort. Her legs were screaming, "Kill us NOW!!!"

What on earth is that animal? A goat of some sort?

Helloooo, Cow. This little guy cracked me up. His mother just looked up at me when I stopped by them, said moo (just another stupid tourist dear, don't worry about it), and went back to eating, but the calf just stood and stared at me until I left.

Destination: fort on cliff's edge. All that grey stuff is the stone walls - it really is amazing how they cover the islands.

Sun! Blue sky! It's a miracle! It's also a miracle that I managed to bike across all of that.

Almost up at the fort at this point, and the view of the western side of the island is making up for the fact that I can already feel how much it's going to hurt to sit and walk the following morning.