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A visit to Inishbofin Island

posted 11 Jun 2012, 05:29 by Mary Miller
For some time Paul and I had been promising ourselves a trip to this island situated off the NW cost of Connemara. With dogs and picnic packed we made our way to Cleggan to pick up the ferry.  It's only half an hours trip by boat and luckily we picked a lovely sunny calm day to do the crossing.  The thing that struck me first as we docked in the harbour was the total lack of commercialism, I had expected to see gift shops, restaurants, pubs and the like (too many visits to Margate Kent I think) instead the only activity were the hoteliers coming into the harbour to greet and pick up their guests with their mini buses and locals picking up their provisions from the ferry. The place instantly had a quiet charm about it with a very laid back feel and certainly no hint of rushing. We set off on one of the many walks - this is truly a walkers/cyclists paradise. By the way you can take bikes on the ferry.  We chose to do the Westquarter loop which took us from the harbour along the most splendid rugged coastline towards the end of the island at  Stags rock. Thanks to the weather being so bright the sea around the coast was the most incredible colour blue, you could be forgiven for thinking that you were in the Med. On our way we passed Tra Gheal just one of the most beautiful white sandy beaches on the island. We got to the Stags and sat to have our picnic and look out for seals this is one of the two places that they can be sighted the other being on the nearby island of Inishgort. After Paul insisted that I was looking at three sea birds we had indeed spotted some grey seals bobbing up and down seemingly watching us from a distance. The only usual visitors to disturb them are the fisherman collecting their lobster pots which you see dotted about along the coast. We carried on with our trek which eventually took us back to the harbour area passing loch boffin lough on your way. With our walk completed we walked along the harbour and found a nice bar serving a well earned Guinness and plate of seasonal seafood - delicious!! After doing even more chilling out just watching the world go by  we got aboard the 5pm ferry back to the mainland. With stunning views of the Twelve Bens Mountains and Croagh Patrick our Lough Corrib Fly Fishing day trip was nearly done! I got chatting to two chaps who had gone over in search of the Corncrake the rarest bird visitor to the island and said that all I needed to complete a perfect day would be to see dolphins...... 5 minutes later like magic they appeared, playing right by the boat, turning their heads to the side and giving you a sideways grin. Unfortunately due to an operator error no pictures where captured of our marine neighbours.  How lucky are we to have all this on our door step, so worth a trip and if any guests would like to visit this enchanting island for the day I will quite happily carry their maps!