Inis Mean Is Beautiful

Like all of the Irish we have fences to mend:

We came across the downed fence on the way to the cousins to return the internet to them.  I got out to pick up the fence and David gives me the camera to take pictures of him picking up the ‘fence’.   Then Chloe asked if she should help or would she be in the way.  I told her to help.  The ONLY reason I am not out there picking up rocks with them is David said to take pictures and then Chloe joined him and I had to capture her true Irish moment.

We are on our way to Inishmean.  It is the middle island of the Aran Islands.  The cousins and everything I have read about Inishmean say it is like stepping back in time.  As fascinated as I am with wishing I could see the past, I am very anxious about this.  Eager, am I, to see the world in a different time.  Not a recreation, or a cheesy park life story, but the real thing.

But before that I am sitting in the car with David and Chloe, UT and AC are following behind.  We are heading to the ferry.  It is David’s birthday.  We have all conspired a little bit to have breakfast and celebrate his day with gifts and food.  I am happily jealous that he will get to celebrate his special day on an Aran island.  He will have a great day.

Stay tuned….

And I’m back.

Ferry to Inis Mean.  I read one of the Irish books I had picked up.  I needed to occupy my mind while we were being tossed about the ocean blue.  And I do mean tossed.  I kept an eye on the locals, none of them looked concerned so I felt okay.  If they had panicked I would have grabbed the life jackets and made sure to get one for my laptop.

Inis Mean is small.  Until you walk it.  We walked from the pier to the post office where no one wanted to talk to us.  But they did tell us where we could get a map.  So off to the store.  We asked him about finding a Faherty UT had heard about and seen a video about.  He was good and gave directions to the house.  He said the island is full of Faherty’s.  When we asked his last name he said Faherty.  But he did not tell us until we asked.

Chloe went to a fort.  I don’t have her pictures.

David and I went to Synge’s Chair at one end of the island.  Then we met up with everyone else and went to a pub.  An original and old pub.  With locals.  Who did not want to talk to us.

Then David and I walked to the other end of the island to see a prehistoric tomb.   While walking to the tomb David said “LOOK” and I looked up to see what I had come here hoping to see.  Though we had seen the thatched and very old cottages there were not people to approach and speak to.  So we respected that.  But when I looked to where he pointed I saw a little lady who was wearing the traditional style of clothing for the Aran Islands.  The dark skirt, the scarf.  She wasn’t very big.  I waved.  She waved.  I waved.  She waved.  I asked if I could talk to her.  She spoke to me in Irish.  I had no idea what she was saying.  But she motioned that I could come through her gate and talk with her.  David and I went up her walk.  I told her my name, and David’s.  I had to say it a couple of times.  She said “oh Colleen and David”.   I said a few things in English.  She said things in Irish.  She said “I have no English”.  I told her I had no Irish, this made her laugh.   We talked without talking until I said “Faherty, I’m a Faherty”.   She smiled and said “I’m a Faherty”.   She found some English.  She is 92 and her name is Shebell.  I am 100% certain that is not how you spell her name, it is just how it sounds when she said it.  I know her last name, her maiden name, is spelled correctly.  She has 7 children and has lived on the island her entire life.  When I showed her on our map where we were going she said it in Irish and waved in the direction to go.  We didn’t really have a conversation per se.  But we did.   She was very happy with us being there.  She told us to come back.  She didn’t think she looked good enough to take a picture, I told her she was beautiful and she laughed and smiled.  She did take a picture with me.  I loved it.

We waved good bye and she kept telling us to come back.   The prehistoric tomb was calling so we hustled.  To the other end of the island.

Then we had to walk back to the pier.  Then we sat on the pier in bazillion a mile an hour wind.  We made friends:

For three days in a row we will spend two hours a day on a ferry.

The island is small.  Yet somehow we managed to walk about 100 miles.

Now we’re sitting on a pier waiting for the ferry.

This is not a place you want to stay unexpectedly.  Though I think Shebell (Sp) would have let us stay with her