by Ollie, 08/09/2013

Not too long ago we visited one of our favourite traveling destinations:


Ireland's biggest island is a stiff 4 to 5 hour drive from Clare but well worth the journey.  
Perched on Ireland's western fringe, it's rugged, it's wild, it's beautiful.

Alison's parents were holidaying in Achill so we decided to stay with them for the weekend.
Betty, our little blue Yaris, was packed with boards, cameras, my toothbrush, 2 pairs of boxer shorts, some proper hiking boots and of course a good portion of Alison's wardrobe.
Off we went on the friday afternoon, arriving there in the evening, and enjoyed the company of Ali's parents, the beautiful dinners her mum made for us, caught a few waves, dodged some sheep and generally just chilled out.
Oh and Alison managed to get her mum in a kayak around the lake at Keel. And of course we took a lot of photos, here is Alison dodging some waves while trying to photograph Slievemore from Doogort beach. Funny stuff.

Sunday evening we left for Clare again and were home just in time for me to catch the plane to Holland the next morning, where the ship was waiting for me again.

We never seize to be amazed by the beauty of Achill. By its mountains and towering cliffs (Achill actually boasts the highest sea cliffs of Europe). By the windswept bogs and heather. By the amazing beaches with water perfectly clear and clean. By the sheep that are just everywhere. By the pretty towns (except for the big gaping hole in the center of Keel, that is) and by the hardy but oh so friendly locals.
Achill is the perfect place to sit by a turf fueled fire enjoying a pint of Guinness in one of the pubs when Atlantic storms are battering the island. But Achill is also the perfect place to hang out on a beach or hike a mountain on a clear sunny day.

Alison first fell in love with Achill when she went to Irish college there as a teenager. The first year we met she brought me there and I was instantly hooked as well.
A few years ago a local man assured us "you need to be tough living in Achill" and tough they are. 
But whether we are or whether we aren't, it has never stopped us from going there as often as we can, and still doesn't.

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