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Valentia island – Skellig Michael – Waterville
We woke up fresh and energetic after a good rest the next day. The breakfast served in this hotel was not that good and quantity as also less. it consisted of just an egg and a slice of bacon with a slice of toast and juice. We had a long day ahead of us and had expected to have a good breakfast before starting off our trip to Skellig Michael as we knew we wouldn’t get any food up there till we come back at around 4 pm. Nevertheless, our hotel owner was good enough to talk to the trip guide to pick us up from Valentia island for the trip.
We crossed over to Valentia island by a ferry from Renard point, which took us around 10 mins. The owner of the ‘Des lavelle trip’ picked us up from Valentia island pier and dropped us to Portmagee where our boat was to start for the trip. The journey through valentia island was very spectacular with beautiful sceneries unfolding in front of us. The boat was supposed to start at 10:30 am from Portmagee so we had around half an hour to look or walk around Portmagee. We crossed over over the bridge to the mainland and took some pictures of the port and the beautiful bay.
Through the rough Atlantic ocean with its waves splashing at us, we were sailing away towards the Skellig.At 10:30 am our adventure trip to Skellig Michael started. Our boat had 10 tourists visiting with us that day. I and Amit, a family of four, 2 guys, and a European grandfather with an african granddaughter 🙂 (last one was a strange pair, i know) Out in the vast open sea we felt like we were so tiny with respect to the sea. The mighty waves rocked our tiny boat to and fro throughout the journey.We were instructed on arrival with some safety rules to be followed while climbing up or coming back down.Splashes of sea water left salt on our hands and faces when they dried off. Amit stood at the front of the boat enjoying the salty water splashes.Soon we could see the Skellig rocks nearing. After about an hour and half’s turbulent journey we reach the Ballinskellig.
Oh What an amazing sight it was! Jutting out from the middle of the sea, a huge rock with beautiful scenery surrounding it.The guide had told all of us to help each other and climb slowly. But Amit was not at all bothered about me 🙁 He went off ahead and never bothered to look behind for me. Other families all were climbing together helping or waiting for each other. But my hubby 🙁 🙁 🙁
We started our climb which was very tiring as the rock was very very steep.With no rails or nothing to hold and stones on one side and sheer open drop on the other we kept looking ahead and climbing up.Didn’t want to look down behind as i knew it would be too scary to do that!The steps were mere 1 feet wide and of mere one n half feet length. At one point, at a turning, there was nothing to hold on either side of the step. Both sides had sheer drop. Just prayed to God and climbed them. Then I decided that day onward I would never go on a trek or mount climb with him. 🙁 🙁 Finally we reached the end of our climb.
Later I saw an old woman who was also scared like me but was managing to go down one step at a time.I took courage from her and started the same thing. One step at a time and not to look into the sea.
It was spectacular to see the view around us from there. Long Long ago when the monks had come here and settled down, they had built caves there for their settlement. We visited each cave and saw how it was built.Its very tough even to imagine how life would have been for them back then.Everybody had bought something to eat with them apart from us, which they had there and reminded us how hungry we were. After a lot of beautiful snaps and pictures we decided to climb down.But looking at the sight below
us , we got scared to the core. The sea below us and the sheer climb down. I realised climbing up was much easier. A few girls started climbing down on their bums 😉 while sitting one step at a time. I was thinking if i would have to do that. I was so frightened to take the first step down. Took a break in between with some photos again and finally climbed down. I reached faster than Amit this time because i was so scared that i couldn’t wait to get to the end of it. whereas he was enjoying the scenery and climbing down slowly behind me. 🙂 The boat was waiting for us when we reached down. We climbed into it and started our journey back home.On the way we reached the small Skellig rock. Though we didn’t get down there, the boatman, slowed down while passing it to show us 29000 pairs of sea gulls nesting on
that island! It looked like a white island covered with birds all around. After a tumultuous ride on the waves again we finally reached land.The journey this time was very bad for me. I was hungry and the rocking of the boat plus the tiredness and the diesel smell from the motor of the boat, all combined together to make me very nauseated. I had to shut my eyes to control the feeling of throwing up. Finally heaved a sigh of relief when we reached land.We thanked the driver and made our way to Ferry view hotel back again.
There were vast fields with trees leading to the ‘LOUGH CURRANE’ or the Currane river joining teh Skellig Bay on one side and forest on the other side of the road. Enjoying the beauty and clicking some photographs we reached the town and decided to go for an early dinner. We Choose some bar and restaurant called ‘Lobster’ by looking at the menu outside and then we had an awesome and filling dinner there. Dinner consisted of Fresh Oysters dipped in Guinness beer and lemon as starter, Grilled fish and salad for me and Grilled loin of pork with salad for Amit accompanied by cold drinks for us. After this excellent and stomach bursting dinner, we started our walk back to the hotel.
We didn’t have much cash left with us by that day. Jim, the owner of Ferry view hotel was really kind enough to give us a lift in his car to the ATM machine and then drop us to’ Lake land Farm guest house’, in Waterville, which was our next stop. This hotel was the best and the most splendid of all! It was so scenic and amidst such beautiful landscape that one would fall in love with the place. It invoked the inner romance within us… 🙂 Since we were very hungry after a days long adventure to Skellig and without any Lunch, we just freshened up quickly and left the hotel for dinner. The hotel owner Annie had warned us that there was a storm coming our way at night so we should hurry since we had to walk all the way to the town centre and then back. We started on our dinner trip enjoying the fantastic view on both sides of the road.
The howling winds and the force of it when it blew on us was literally swaying us. The splashes of rain on our bare hands and faces felt like stings. I just kept on praying god to help me pass this ordeal and reach safely to our hotel. But the hotel was not that easy to come. I felt like it was taking ages to arrive. Sometimes i had a scary feeling of the wind sweeping us away into the sea!
There was a Charlie Chaplin festival going on in Waterville on that day and since it was his favourite holiday spot people in Waterville have dedicated posters pillars and walls around their house in his remembrance. We walked into the Chaplin fair, but couldn’t find anything apart from a place where a few number of people were drinking and celebrating. Maybe it was closed as it was already 8pm by then. It had started raining lightly by then and i was hurrying Amit to get back to our hotel as it was a long walk back. He was enjoying taking some pics of the town centre in the night light. Soon after the pics, we started walking on our way back when the full blown storm with heavy gale winds and heavy rain hit us! Cannot describe in words how scary and horrific was the walk back to the hotel! All the beauty turned into eerie darkness around us. With no lights on the road and forests around us, i was scared to the core. Hugging on tight Amit’s arms i was running down the road to keep pace with him as i could not afford to walk alone!. We started having a sinking feeling that we had crossed off the hotel as we started thinking ‘it wasn’t so far down the road. ’
But luckily, we spotted the lights and the dark silhouette of the hotel ahead of us. And as soon as we spotted it, almost ran down towards it! I breathed a huge sigh of relief when we entered the hotel lobby. Remembering that night still now sends a shiver down my spine.I went into the bathroom first to relax after the stormy walk , with a good hot water bath. The bathroom of the hotel room was lavishly decorated and huge. It had a huge oval bath tub with 5 star accessories available. I let the tub fill with hot water and slipped in there for a rejuvenating foam bath, letting my mind relax from the recently faced turmoil. After Amits bath, we both sunk into a deep sleep tired after a day full of adventures.