After saying my goodbyes to Nick this morning I started heading north towards the Giants Causeway Coastline of Northern Ireland. The weather seemed to be getting worse the further north I headed so not feeling like driving in the rain I decided to turn around and head south-west and see as much of the West Coast of Ireland as I could before I left for home.
I ended up in Westport on the west coast after travelling through Omagh, Enniskillen, Sligo and Castlebar. The weather improved somewhat as I travelled south-west but it still rained for most of the day. I booked into a the Atlantic Coast Hotel just outside the town centre on Westport Quay. It overlooked Clew Bay with Croagh Patrick Mountain providing a strking backdrop. If you look closely at the picture to the right you will see a little white dot on top of the mountain which is actually a chapel. Apparentely this site is the most important Catholic pilgrimage destination in Ireland with up to one million doing the pligrimage to the summit each year. I wasn't in the mood for a barefoot pilgrimage up a 640mn high mountain to pay penance, but given more time I would have liked to walked to the summit for the views.
The weather was still fairly awful and I half heartedly attempted a walk along the quay but gave up after after nearly being blown of my feet. In this type of weather the area looked pretty bleak but as you can see from these pictures taken the next morning when it was fine, it is quite a pretty spot with views to the ocean,the mountains and green fields with a small lake just opposite the hotel. Westport Quay reminded me of Brisbane with many of the quay side warehouses now renovated into either hotels, restaraunts or pubs.