It was a slog to get to the Aran Islands. My ticket read MSP to ORD to LON to DUB to GWY, but the abbreviations do nothing to shorten the trip. From Galway, a bus to Rossaveel, from Rossaveel a ferry to Kilronan and finally a van driven by Enda to my destination, the Arde Einne guesthouse on Inis Mor. Rather than stop, I did this all in one long day (30 hours) to make the most of my vacation time.
When I arrived Enda was worried that I looked ill. Such a sweet woman, she brought my breakfast to my room the next morning. Mightily refreshed, I took out a map of sites on the island to find some of the points of interest.
I showed my map to Enda - a woman of well advanced years - and asked her if it was possible to walk from the Temple of St. Benan to the Black Fort. In her lovely brogue she said, "Oh, yes. It's lovely, especially by the cliffs."
I made quick time up to the Temple (seen above) but what followed was an arduous trek over shifting broken stones, slippery lichen, sheer cliffs and not a soul in sight but a few of the braver seagulls. It took hours and - yes - I, of the extremely fair skin, actually got sunburned while making this journey. Probably the first person sunburned in Ireland. Ever.
I finally reached the Black Fort (Dun Dúbhchathair) and realized two things. Enda was right, it was lovely, especially by the cliffs, and two, the old ladies of the Aran Islands are a tough and intrepid breed.