Photo by Jason DeVarennes

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Belmullet to Keel - Ireland 2016

As I mentioned yesterday, I managed to completely miss Achill Island and then hunger and frustration clouded my judgement and I found myself in Belmullet. After texting John and hearing back from almost every member of his family, I knew I'd have to backtrack and take in the Island. I looked at various options and the weather forecast and finally decided to do just that, backtrack and take the turn I'd missed.

Now I don't want to disparage the weather in Ireland, but SUMMER was predicted to arrive and depart the following day. So the best place to be for Summer Day in Ireland would be Achill.

I was up early, applying sunscreen, before turning into the dreaded headwind, going south. The wind turned out not to be as bad as I feared. I made good time down to Ballycroy where I enjoyed a great coffee and scone. The views from here were already amazing. It would only get better.


The wind started to pick up and I made the wise decision to loop around the island from the south. 



The climbs were gentle, while the descents were screamers. The coast road has amazing views.


The photo does not do justice to the gradient on this road. I was happy to fly down it!

I reached Keel, just as it seemed I might get a rain shower. I found a great B&B and checked in. The owner suggested I must go out to Keem. She said if you haven't seen Keem Bay, you haven't seen Achill. She casually mentioned a mountain. I pulled out my dry bag and headed off to see Keem.

Mountain was an understatement. I decided to appreciate the view of Keem from the summit, rather than descend and climb back up! But it was gorgeous. And I will say it was absolutely worth backtracking and climbing for all the great views on this great day. Don't miss Achill!




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