Day 3 of our stay on Achill Island, and for most of the morning we had been kept indoors by heavy rain, but in the afternoon, we got a great combination of dry weather with some still very dramatic skies. We were staying in an apartment right at the base of Slievemore mountain, on its southern side, and a little further west on its lower slopes there was a megalithic tomb that we took the short trip to see. From the road side, there was a narrow, muddy track, hemmed in by hedges on both sides, rising steeply up until it emerged on to the open hillside, with the tomb a short way ahead.
As we made our way up, we met two families coming down, with very contrasting views on whether the muddy walk up was worth it. We were wearing our hiking boots, so the mud didn’t bother us, but the first family we met seemed to wearing their everyday footwear – now a sorry sight it must be said. They looked grumpy at their experience, and told us we should continue provided we liked looking at “a heap of stones”! We second family were more enthusiastic about the historical importance of the tomb and were more encouraging. Opinion was split in my own family, although my son was thoroughly enjoying splashing through the mud, and I myself quite like “heaps of stones”.
Even without the tomb, I would have been happy with the short walk, after being couped up all morning, and even the modest height we gained on the lower slopes of Slievemore was providing stunning views down over Keel beach, to the cliffs of Minaun.
Making our way up the muddy track between the hedgerows.
Great views over Keel Lough to the sea and the cliffs of Minaun.
Another look back as the track emerged on to the open hillside.
Approaching the tomb.
Arriving at the tomb, I definitely found it to be more impressive than some of the earlier visitors we had met. On one level, it may appear as just a pile of rocks, but its antiquity gives it significance, as it dates back thousands of years.
The moody skies seemed apt for the location.
Heading back down the track.
Next, we would continue a short distance further west for another taste of history at the remains of the deserted village.