When I enter the village of Claddaghduff, it is early evening. I drive down to the seaside, park my car, and walk to the shore. The narrow stretch of sea between the mainland and Omey Island has a number of signs in a straight line, marking a path to drive your car. At high tide, a car would be completely engulfed by water, but at low tide, you can drive and walk across. I decide to have dinner first, and when I come back after a few hours, there is just a thin layer of water left. At most places, patterns of sand are visible. The crossing turns out quite easy. although the second part has a little bit deeper water still. The warm light of the sun is not only shining on the white houses of Claddaghduff, but also creating a bright rainbow in the dark sky over the landscape of western Ireland. In places where there is still a thin layer of water, the rainbow is reflected, making the view even more pleasing.
Sand sticks to my shoes when I reach Omey Island, and I walk up the asphalt road. There are a few cottages, but I do not see a single person. The last inhabitant of Omey Island has passed away a few months before, and I imagine that the houses I see, are holiday houses. I walk in a clockwise direction around Omey Island, on a narrow road with stone walls on both sides. When I reach the southern part of the island, I see a small beach on my left, and Fahy Lough, a lake in the middle of the island, on my right. I turn west, to come to a larger beach which I also have to myself. The small road ends here, and I walk the tracks towards the north over some hilly terrain. I see a group of swans in the lake, and descend to its shore to have a better look. Towards the east, there is still a powerful rainbow in the early summer evening sky.
On my way north, I come across the ruins of a medieval parish church, Teampaill Feichin, which was excavated from the mud in the early 1980s. The island has always been devoted to Saint Feichín, and the church merely testifies to the important of the 7th century Irish saint. Crossing some more hills, I descend to the sandy beaches of the north coast. The tide is now so low that I can walk the coastline all the way back to the eastern part. I walk up to the small cemetery with traditional crosses, and then back to the spot where I arrived at the island. Walking back to the mainland is easier than before now, but it takes longer because I stop regularly to watch the sun sink towards and below the horizon, causing a beautiful orange sky to appear above the low hills and the stretch of sea between the mainland and Omey Island.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Omey Island (Ireland). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Omey Island. Read more about this site.