Dursey Island

Moscow, this wayMy last day of island-hopping started with an 8:00 rise after getting a text message. This was unusual in that the side of the island I was on didn’t have any mobile reception. After mentioning this to Caitriona, she said that when the ferry goes past it often gives a brief period of reception before it passes by. Strange.

For breakfast we finished off the food from the night before and gulped some of that weird pro-biotic yoghurt-y stuff in small bottles. With the car packed, we were about to set off when Joleen decided she wanted a picture of one of the camouflaged chaps outside. She walked up and began polite conversation with one of them.

“I couldn’t take photos of Bere without the FCÁ. It’d not be right.”

“FCÁ? We’re the army!”

Whoops. He still posed, but didn’t smile.

Scary cable carThis time, Joleen reversed onto the ferry like a pro but we were running late as the ferry driver had a lie in, or an extra mug of tea with breakfast. Our aim was to get to Dursey Island and it was only accessible until 11:00 or we’d have to wait till the afternoon.

When we arrived at the crossing point, we were just in time to have a quick look around before sorting tickets. Another of those signposts was by the crossing point, and rather bizarrely featured an arrow pointing in the direction of Moscow. Underneath it was a plaque dedicated to four Luftwaffe pilots who died when their Junkers had crashed nearby in 1942. Testament to Eire’s neutrality during WWII.

So, why the limited access time? High tides? Fuel shortage for the boat? Erm, no. The cable car only operates for a few hours a day.

Yes. Cable car.

A view to the mainlandThe only one in the entire of Eire and it’s used to access an island, effectively carrying its passengers over the Atlantic ocean. It’s also the scruffiest, roughest, most beaten-up cable car you’ve ever seen. This probably has something to do with the fact that it’s used to carry cows. One at a time.

Caitriona noticed that fortunately the car had a new floor in it since the last time she had used it. This is a good thing as you could see through it before. Not good when the only thing separating you from the straits is an inch of rotting timber. I guess this replacement was made after the “bull falling to its death” incident in April. I may have made that last sentence up, but don’t bet on it.

Seat with a viewDursey is pretty small. You could walk around the periphery in less than two hours, which is a pity as we’d had to catch the last morning cable car over. So we were marooned there for 3 1/2 hours. Thankfully the weather was good and the scenery gorgeous, so we strolled for a bit taking pictures.

Then we sat down next to the road somewhere comfy and chatted and played word games.

Then we fell asleep. For two hours.

Well, it was warm and there was the sunshine and the fresh air and we’d done a lot of walking. I think we had enough excuses.

Old cottageWe woke in time to plod down to the cable car for the first return trip of the afternoon. Only there seemed to be a problem. A man on the roof of the car. Carrying a broom. Weird. The car got halfway across as the man brushed away at the cables, then returned to the mainland.

By the time the car got to us, laden with tourists, it was almost half an hour late. This was not a good thing as we’d had no lunch and Joleen had to get back to Crosshaven to work the evening shift at the pub. We dropped Caitriona off at the Pontoon to get her car and she followed us along to a nice bar where we all had fajitas. And pudding. Great stuff.

Spot the Leprechaun!Then the race was on as Joleen had to be at the pub in 90 minutes or so, and it was at least that long to drive. This was the first time in the last few days I’d seen her drive at any real speed or with any noticeable urgency. I don’t think I squealed once, which is good.

She did end up being a little late, but that’s the way things go in Ireland. I spent the night catching up on email. Sometimes it can be a lot of work being popular!

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