Getting there (on the thumb)

Galway Travel Blog

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Left Galway at around 14.30 on Wednesday. Two lifts got us as far as Leenane. We waited 15 mins. at the Westwod House Hotel, and about 40 outside Moycullen, where our first driver dropped us. He was an old man, originally from Blackrock in Dublin, who moved down West when he retired. Our second driver was a man in his 30s from between Letterfrack and Clifden who went out of his way to bring us to Leenane. Leenane was a little eventful - the apparent proprietor, or maybe just the village interferer, came across the road to us from the Sheep and Wool Museum, with a look that could almost kill, and told us to 'stop posing; get a bus or a taxi or something, but stop posing, not to me". Then he went back across the road. A car going in the opposite direction stopped at the traffic lights and two French people (thinking that Javier was French, obviously) leaned out and said 'Bonne chance!'. I didn't quite catch it at first, so they had to repeat, and as they drove off, the girl in the front said, 'Pourquoi personne me comprend pas, quoi?' A couple in the car park offered us a lift to Westport, but we stupidly decided to go with them just to Aasleagh, and take the Delphi valley road... This meant a 30-minute wait at Aasleagh, and at least a forty-minute one at Delphi, where cars went past very rarely. Two Polish girls brazenly came out of the gate at Delphi and stood in front of us, and got picked up within five minutes! This spurred J and I to stand at the gate, and as a couple came out with the front window open, Javi asked were they going our way, out of desperation, and it worked! The man was from Kildare, his wife from Monaghan, and they had moved down to Lahardaun, Co. Mayo, and were driving back from Galway when they picked us up. She said she used to hitch everywhere when she was younger, and even alone, which surprised her now. He siad he supposed it was a good way of meeting people and getting around at the same time. They dropped us at Louisburgh, and we parted as friendlily as if we had met in the pub. From there we set out on foot towards Roonagh until we were picked up by two fishermen on the one-lane road to the pier. We arrived and the last boat was gone - of course. the 98km had taken us about six hours. But the sunset was beautiful, the island was visible, and there was a wonderfully dramatic feeling of having reached the very end of the road. Roonagh consists of the pier, the prefab ticket offices and a house. To the south, the coast stretches down toward Killadoon, and, apparently, a sandy beach. The Roonagh end is very rugged - rocky beach and long grass. The long grass, with a view out to the Island, was our campsite and home for the night.
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photo by: AleksandraEa