We had a fantastic bank holiday weekend in Achill. The weather was glorious, warm sunshine from dawn ’til dusk, we caught fish, and a lobster. We had sailed from Liverpool to Belfast overnight, and the Irish Sea was like a mill pond. The route through Northern Ireland, Leitrim and Sligo is always beautiful, but the sunshine on the fresh greenery made it more spectacular than ever. Stopping in Castlebar for some shopping and to buy a Mayo flag for the house, to replace the one ravaged by Winter storms, we arrived early in the afternoon. The tide was out so we were soon scrambling over the rocks with our pot and a fishing rod. Mike caught enough fish to feed us and bait the pot.
The evening was beautiful, perfect for sipping cold drinks and just looking at the glory of nature all around. The bank behind Achill Ocean’s edge was full of flowers. Primroses, bright yellow flowers whose name we don’t know, and small purple orchids. The Rhododendrons of Glendarry Woods close to Achill Sound were in full bloom, a beautiful sight at this time of year. There were yellow flag irises in the fields, clumps of arum lilies dotted around, and lots of wild flowers in bloom on the hills. The sea that had been so wild in the winter was flat calm, and Clare Island seemed within touching distance. It was lovely and warm, not a breath of wind. A piece of Heaven on earth.
Sunday morning was again warm and sunny. We took the kayaks down to Cloughmore beach. It was marvellous to find it just as it was when we were kids, a lovely, gently sloping safe beach. Mike decided to go across to Achill Beg, where he walked around the whole island, discovering cliffs and caves, seabirds and songbirds, in perfect peace and solitude. We who were left behind paddled in the warm sea, in kayak or on foot, marvelling at the baby pollock and sand eels, safe from predators in these shallow waters. In the afternoon we were delighted to find a lobster in our pot, which made a delicious starter to our evening meal. It would have been churlish to wish for bad weather on Monday when we had to leave, but it would have made the leaving a little easier! Long may this wonderful weather continue.