…..in search of the Atlantic Ocean
When we woke up this morning we discovered that our ham had been stolen from our window ledge. Oh well, nothing ventured nothing gained. I hope that whoever or whatever took our meat at least enjoyed it.
We knew that breakfast was waiting for us downstairs so we quickly got dressed and made our way to the breakfast room. As with most B & Bs, the counter was stocked with croissants, bread for toasting, jams, butter, cereals, milk, fruit salad and juices. What we weren’t expecting was to be handed a menu with more breakfast options, such as the full Irish breakfast, smoked salmon, eggs and bacon and oatmeal.
We placed our orders and were brought a carafe of freshly brewed coffee. While K enjoyed his full Irish breakfast and I my smoked salmon we discussed what we wanted to do for the rest of the day. We had pretty much decided that a hike was in order and I really wanted to see the Atlantic Ocean. One of the things that caught my eye as we perused the travel brochures was a boat tour of Clews Bay.
Overlooking the town along the Greenway.
After our hearty and delicious breakfast we went back to the room to get ready for the hike along the Westport Greenway. This is a popular walking and cycling path that used to be the Old Railway Line. It goes from the city centre down to the The Quays, a distance of 2.5 k one way.
Before we left we bought some water and a couple of sandwiches from the local grocery store and we still had the salad from the night before. The walk was relatively easy and the scenery was magnificent. The mountain in the background is Croagh Patrick.
Croagh Patrick (pronounced Croke Patrick) stands at 764m (2,507ft) and is the third highest peak in Mayo. Best known for its association with Saint Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, who is said to have fasted for 40 days at the summit in 441AD, Croagh Patrick has been a pilgrimage destination since pre-Christian times.
When we reached the Quays I was disappointed to see that the tide was out and there were only beds of mud and rock to be seen. We rested for a bit, ate our salad and drank our water before we continued on our way. We walked along the Quay and followed the signs to Westport House, the home of the infamous pirate, Grace O’Malley.
The trail and road towards Westport House took us through some beautiful woodland areas. At one point we had a lovely view of the house from the far end of the pond. My only regret is that I didn’t take a photo here because once we got into the park we no longer had a view of the house. The only way to see the gardens, the remnants of the original castle and the house was to buy a pass. Once again my husband wasn’t interested in paying to see a few rooms. After checking out the website, here, I wish we had taken the time and spent the money to see it. The video is quite interesting.
We continued to walk around the park and eventually found ourselves back in town. We stopped to eat our sandwiches and then headed back to the Elephant House. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed that we didn’t see the boat tour and I wasn’t sure what we were going to do for the rest of the day.
When we got to the B & B, our host met us at the door and asked what our plans were for the rest of the day. I told him that I had wanted to go on the boat tour of Clews Bay but I knew that we would never be able to walk back in time to catch the boat. To our amazement, Dez, our host offered to drive us back to the pier. We hopped into his SUV and in a few minutes we were back at The Quays.
The tour was 15 Euro, each, for the 1 1/2 hour boat cruise through the bay. This was something I really wanted to do so I paid for both of us. I was really glad to be wearing my hat and having sun screen with me. Not only did we use it but the two passengers next to us also used it on their fair Irish skin. It was a perfect day to be out on the water. It was calm and the tour guide was informative and witty. Did you know that John Lennon actually bought one of the islands there and stayed there for an extended period of time? I can’t really imagine why anyone would want to live on these treeless islands. No power, no water, nothing.
John Lennon’s Island. I wasn’t kidding when I said there was nothing on it.
At the end of the tour our host was waiting for us. He asked us if we would like to go for a pint at his favourite local pub outside of town. Well you don’t have to ask my husband twice. When we got to the Sheebin, K had to insist that we pay
for the round. It was very relaxing sitting outside overlooking the water. It was great talking to our host, learning about the town, how the B & B came to be, and how the town became so famous. As is often the case the success of the Westport can be attributed to the vision of one person.
Dez bought the second round for the guys; I was still nursing my first drink. One of the other things that we talked about was how we missed our vegetables with our meals. He had some great suggestions of where we could eat and probably find what we were looking for. One of the suggestions was the Wyatt Hotel where they had a dinner special for 60 Euro for two.
We checked out all the places that our host recommended but in the end we decided to try the Wyatt Hotel. We weren’t disappointed. We opted for the dinner special that included three courses and a complimentary bottle of wine. The atmosphere and decor were relaxed chic and the food was amazing. Even the wine was good but the best part was the large platter of vegetables that appeared on the table as part of our meal. We were in heaven.
All in all our two day stay in Westport were outstanding, partially due to our wonderful hosts at the Elephant House. We would definitely recommend visiting Westport when you’re in Ireland. Next time we would stay a couple of days longer and check out some of the other activities that the town offers, such as sea kayaking and the 42 k cycling path along the Great Western Greenway.
Time to leave Westport. We’ll be back.