The top of Croagh Patrick has been covered in a tiny toupee of mist for most of the week, giving me a fantastic excuse not to walk up it.Today, although it was a grey day, the summit was surprisingly clear. So I had to find a new reason.
At the foot of the mountain, I consulted with Holy Mary through the medium of sketch. When she turned into Fanny Craddock on my page, I took it as a clear sign that heading to the summit spelled doom.I abandoned the disastrous sketch and opted to do the Murrisk loop. A lovely walk with plenty of sketching and no slippery scree.
After my run in with Mary, I went subtle on St Patrick’s face.The views of Clew Bay are excellent. Even the sheep agree. Here’s Clare Island and the beautiful spit of Betra Beach.Down in the village I finally got to see the Fisherman’s Memorial. Those cyclists took off pretty quickly. Must have been the way I looked at them! My personal pilgrimage could only end at the Sheebeen with a bottle of Westport, Mescan.
Westport House was owned for centuries by the descendants of the pirate queen, Granuaile and is built on the site of her ancient castle.On the way down to Grace’s dungeon a young girl ran at me whispering in a loud hiss ‘this house is haunted!!’ I swear I saw the ghostly figure of the pirate queen in a swan pedalo.That was not as spooky as the fantastic ‘party waxwork room’ full of Irish artistic talent. Their eyes follow you everywhere to the sound of the fiddle… I wasn’t sticking around to add colour!I calmed down with coffee and cake in the tea room. Trying not to think about what those massive hooks on the ceiling were for. I’m sure that stag just winked at me!
Traditional watercolour landscapes are not my forte, but this stunning spot in the graveyard above Killary Harbour fjord gave me itchy aqua brushes. Sometimes you just have to try!Beach-watching and sunburn at Lettergesh.
After being bombarded with rain drops the size of apples at Aashleagh falls, I was relieved to stand, legs akimbo and dry my trousers at the Doo Lough famine memorial.
The weather continued to race through this sobering spot where hundreds died in 1849.
The shafts on sunlight in the foreground of my sketch had almost fled by the time I’d finished.
The small chapel on the summit of Croagh Patrick (known locally at The Reek) was shrouded in mist this morning.By the time I’d managed a truly bracing dip in the Atlantic, it was just visible from the lovely Betra Beach.