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Achill Island and Leaving Ireland

Achill Island and Leaving Ireland

On Sunday, October 11th, we drove to Achill (pronounced Ah-kull) Island (video), a spot recommended by my good friend and former college basketball teammate Karen Hindt. She told me it would be a great drive, and she wasn’t kidding!

We had such a great time driving through the cute villages of Westport (video), Newport (video), Keel, and others. The road deadends at Keem Beach (video) and it is not for the faint of heart! No guard rails, and almost sheer dropoffs (video)!

But it was a great circle drive for us, and we really enjoyed the scenery, the sheep, and driving the tiny roads through the Doogort East Bog. I even made what I hope you will enjoy as a peaceful video of the tide on the beach. This was one of the best drives we took during our entire time in Ireland!

However, the great cap to that day was dinner at the home of Yvonne and Eric Hannagen. We spent almost 5 hours around the table eating and chatting with this lovely couple, and we count them as good friends now. Yvonne works at St. Mary’s and Eric is a retired engineer.

The next several days comprised our final week in Galway. We continued helping out at St. Mary’s (video of Tim teaching Masterpiece drill) and St. Patrick’s, and began working with St. Mary’s College to see if there was a way to continue helping through basketball and organizational leadership consulting services.

We also managed to squeeze in a final circle drive. Well, technically it wasn’t a circle, because we drove to Lettermullan to the end of the road (literally–see the video). It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon, and we wanted to see a bit more of this beautiful country before we left. And, boy, was it worth the drive! We captured a beautiful reflection of a home, a red boat at the end of the road complete with a cow standing on a hilltop, and more. This country is amazing!

Shortly before our final week ended, Tim captured a photo of Cooke’s Thatch Bar having its roof rethatched. Ciarán surprised us by having special Doctors Rice t-shirts made for the senior boys’ basketball team. Tim took some great selfies with the boys at St. Patrick’s school (and also the principal). Here is a video Tim made during his walk to and from St. Patrick’s.

We finished our Irish souvenir shopping, watched a few street performers (video of one), received lovely gifts from some special new friends, and found it hard to leave this country with its beautiful scenery and even more beautiful people.

Eventually we packed our things, but not before having a lovely tea with Yvonne and enjoying an amazing meal with Ciarán and Kathleen Caitlín. And on October 18th we took the bus to Dublin and the next day flew back to the US of A (not before having a bit of photo fun in the airport), where my mom picked us up at midnight and drove us 3 hours back to her home.

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