Day 7: Westport, Killary Fjord, Connemara & Cong

Trip Start May 11, 2007
Trip End May 19, 2007

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Where I stayed
What I did
Killary Fjord Tour
Matt Malloys
Lough Doo
Quiet Man Tour

Flag of Ireland  , Connaught,
Thursday, May 17, 2007

Today we left Westport early to head to Killary Harbor to take a Catamaran cruise. I love the water and boats in general so I was glad to be doing this. I was also never on a catamaran before so I thought it would be interesting. Along the way we were treated to some beautiful views of Croagh Patrick and the very varied landscape between Mayo and Galway.

When we were nearing the village of Leenaun where we would be catching the cruise we came along this beautiful area called Lough Doo where the mists were settling in over the mountains and there was a dramatic view of the lake and an old famine memorial. Our tour guide stopped the bus so we could get out and take some pictures. I'm so glad they did, I think its one of my favorite pictures from this trip.
After taking a few pictures we continued on our way until we came to another pretty area and the bus pulled over again. This time it was at the River Erriff and Aasleagh Falls. Once again I was thrilled! I'm heavy into white water rafting and kayaking....Ireland is full of rivers since its an island and I was wondering how the paddle sports and rivers were in Ireland. I got a first hand look at the River Erriff and was picking out lines through the rapids while I was taking pictures! I asked our guides if there was alot of opportunities for rafting etc in Ireland and they said, no that it wasn't really done that most of their rivers were comparable to creeks in the US.....question answered.

We loaded onto the bus again and continued onto Leenaun and got on the Catamaran. Unfortunately at this point it started to rain a bit, the sky was grey and threatening rain all along but it let loose when we got to the boat. Since you could sit inside at the windows and enjoy a drink the tour wasn't ruined. The rain actually let up enough that you go out on the deck a bit before getting too cold. The tour took us around the Killary Harbor and talked about the history of the area and the fishing industry. Its a beautiful area.

After the tour we stopped in Leenaun to get some lunch. We picked the An Tobar Cafe which is part of a gift shop. We did some shopping and bought some souvenirs and then got some great Irish stew and shortbread cookies. I also got the chance to go outside and take some pictures of Killary Harbor since the rain had passed. As I was walking around I could hear sheep. I walked behind the cafe and there were three of them sitting there in a row. I got my camera out and they didn't look too happy. They sat there long enough to get a picture or two before getting up and turning their backs to me! I thought it was hysterical, who knew sheep had an attitude!

Next we got back on the bus for the ride through Connemara to Cong. Along the way we stopped in Clonbur to take pictures of the rolling green hills, sheep and stone walls that all lead down to picturesque Lough Corrib. Its so beautiful it could almost be a postcard from Ireland. We had stopped here on a previous trip and I recognized the area. My mom was happy, she really liked this area.

On the way to Cong our guides played the movie the Quiet Man on the bus. We watched the movie and as we went along they pointed out some of the locations from the movie. When we got to Cong we went on the walking tour of the city. This is also something we did on a previous trip but we are fans of the movie so we didn't mind doing it again. The same man we had before did the tour. You can always tell the people who have seen the movie versus those who haven't by judging their reactions to certain locations.

Cong is the city of "Inishfree" in the movie starring John Wayne and Maureen O' Hara. The tour walks around the city and points out specific locations as the guests are "volunteered" to re-enact certain scenes. The local guide talks a bit about the history of the area and various trivia and facts about the movie. When you return to the tour center several people are chosen to dress up in replicas of the costumes worn by various characters and have their picture taken in a replica of the cottage.

Afterwards we returned to Westport with enough time to shower before dinner. Dinner was once again at the hotel and I again opted out and got some pub grub since I had no idea what was going to be on the menu.

After dinner we decided to go to Matt Malloy's again since we had such a good time the night before. When we got there the old man was there again and he was already sitting at a table and singing. The young couple from Boston came in again a bit later and everyone was having a great time listening to this guy.

A young woman came in and was a bit tipsy and decided to sing along with the older man and he did not like being upstaged at all! For as drunk as she was she could actually sing very well. As the night wore on two young guys came in and you could tell they were local, they sort-of knew the guy singing and knew all the songs he was doing. They were a lil well tuned themselves but they were entertaining.

The one guy was an adorable Irishman and once he caught sight of the shamrock tattoo on my shoulder he came over to talk to me. He and his friend were a bit drunk but I found them amusing, not to mention the one was so cute. But the pub owner must have thought otherwise because he kept asking me if they were bothering me and at one point he threw them out. They snuck in the back entrance to try to get me to go out clubbing with them! Needless to say I had an amusing night at Malloy's.
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