Trip to the West

St Louis Secondary School Monaghan Town

Coláiste UISCE,

Cuan Eilí,

Béal an Átha,

Co. Mhaigh Eo

 

26 April, 2019

Hi Mam,

They don’t say ‘Cad é mar atá tú?” over here in Mayo, that took a bit of getting used to but I’m settling in great. You were right about the phones and I don’t even miss it.

I got the bus, was the last one on, got the seat right behind the driver. Occasionally he would turn around and point out landmarks to me – the statue of Joe Dolan in Mullingar for example (Nannie would have been beside herself) and Carter’s canal running through the town of Belmullet.  However, I have to say that those sights were completely overshadowed by the vast flatness of the Mullet peninsula.  Purples and browns and orange colours blending into each other across miles of bog as the diversity of heathers and mosses mixed, broken occasionally by the gaping black trenches filled with black water showing the black peat of the bog. I could not stop looking at it, all the way to the horizon.

The Coláiste is great, everyone is so friendly and everyone tries their best speaking the cúpla focail. Yesterday, we took a short 15 minute trip to the bottom of the peninsula, to Black Sod pier which shelters small fishing boats in its deep waters. The stacks of lobster pots, colourful, barnacle ridden buoys and drying nets show it’s a pier which is well-used.  We had great fun jumping and diving into the water, and before you think it, we all had our lifejackets on! Apparently, we are very lucky with the weather for the Cúrsa Cáisc but it does not make the sea any warmer. One advantage is that your wetsuit dries out quickly afterward!

Mam, you would not believe that the whole Mullet peninsula is only 33 kilometres long and we have walked a lot of it already! At the top of the peninsula, not far from the town of Belmullet, is the beautiful wide bay of Broadhaven. The day we were there, the waves were so even they looked as if they had been asked to form an orderly queue as they rushed towards the shore. At the other end of the peninsula is Black Sod bay, another wide sandy stretch of beach and we had the place to ourselves.

We also walked up to Glosh tower (just as well I brought my walking shoes) to see the ruins of a tower used as a lookout for the invasion of Napoleon and the French armies, it really does look like a face keeping watch over the area. Tomorrow we are going to visit standing stones at Fallmore. Not sure what the Irish for standing stones is but they’re known here as Deirbhle’s twist. It’s a megalithic tomb – you never know, I might revise some of my first-year History. LOL!

Must go now as I have a County Jersey ceilí to get ready for!

Lots of love,

Hazel.

(d’iníon is fearr leat)