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Clare Island, County Mayo, May 2010



Clare Island, Co. Mayo, May 2010

In May 2010 we went to Clare Island off the coast of Co. Mayo. This was exciting as we had heard of so much of the famous pirate queen, Grace O'Malley. We would be sailing with the ferry "Queen of Clew Bay". This trip also meant we could tick off yet another destination on our list of Irish islands...


Clare Island, Co. Mayo, May 2010

Arriving at Clare Island, we caught sight of the hallmark of Clare Island: Grace O'Malley's castle. It's a small castle built in the 16th hundreds. Roger thought there was a bit too much attention on this legendary pirate queen.
"If she is the pirate queen, then I am the pirate king"
He continued: "I am Roger O'Malley - king of pirates of Mayo... no, more than that: King of Ireland!!"


Clare Island, Co. Mayo, May 2010

We decided to walk around the island. After a while we came to the village, Kill - Cille in Irish.


Clare Island, Co. Mayo, May 2010

In Kill we had a look at the old abbey. It has some famous wall paintings. Kevin noticed that more than half the tombs on the graveyard carried the name of O'Malley or O'Grady.
"I suppose..." McBear added, "... it's the same with us! Just think of how many Bears we have: We have a Big Bear, Pinbear, Dr. Bath Bear, Kevin O'Bear... we even have a Mac Bear - McBear that is!


Clare Island, Co. Mayo, May 2010

We tried to catch up with our owners, but - phew - the road seemed endless - and mostly uphill of course!


Clare Island, Co. Mayo, May 2010

Eventually we arrived at Ballytoughey Beg - translated: Small town of Toughey! At this stage Kevin had started to complain about blisters underneath his paws. Dr. Bath was sweatty and his hat overheated - it had started to make funny noises now and then. And Tom said he wouldn't mind a pint or two...


Clare Island, Co. Mayo, May 2010

We managed to get back to the harbour. While the others sat down to rest, McBear and Roger went to the beach to enjoy the sand before we headed back to the mainland.



Saltee Islands, County Wexford, May 2004



Saltee Islands, Co. Wexford, May 2004

In May we went to the Saltee Islands just off the coast of Wexford. This was Goldiebear and Kevin's first trip inside Ireland, and they were very excited: Now, they had become real Travelling Bears!
Angus was getting a bit tired of all this Travelling Bears, here, there and everywhere, so he suggested, that he and Erasmus should form the "Travelling Dogs"!


Saltee Islands, Co. Wexford, May 2004

We had heard, that you could see gannets, cormorans and other seabirds on the islands - even puffins. The islands are uninhabitated, well apart from the owner and his family.


Saltee Islands, Co. Wexford, May 2004

McBear and Roger wanted to have a closer look at the gannets, so they walked very slowly and carefully not to disturb the birds.


Saltee Islands, Co. Wexford, May 2004

As we walked around the island, we found a lot of very deep holes. McBear thought it could be rabbits. Roger was complaining about the droppings everywhere.
"Is it sheep who leave such a mess?" he asked.
"No, it's rabbit droppings", McBear said.
"YES!" Pinbear agreed. "It's certainly not from sheep. I remember the sheep droppings on the Healy Pass. Those droppings were nearly as big as me, and the droppings here are so small, I could use them as a football!"



The Skelligs, County Kerry, June 2004



The Skelligs, Co. Kerry, June 2004

In 2002 we went to the Skelligs and the photo that was taken back then had become so famous, that when we went back to the Skelligs in June 2004, Irving, Erasmus, Edward and Kevin also wanted to have their photo taken here. But unlike the last time, this time we saw puffins. Kevin, being an Irish tourist souvenir bear, was happy, that he hadn't been bought by some strange tourist from abroad.
"Don't worry, Roger said, being kidnapped would only happen to famous TA's like me."
Kevin felt so relieved.


The Skelligs, Co. Kerry, June 2004

The last time we went to the Skelligs, in September 2002, Roger had had a chat with Des Lavelle, the captain of Beal Bocht of Portmagee.
"We are true seamen, Des and I", Roger claimed.


The Skelligs, Co. Kerry, June 2004

On the way back to the mainland, Roger had a chat with Captain Lavelle. Tom was very proud of being invited to have a chat with the Captain too. McBear was very interested in the GPS system on board, and Des told him about the auto pilot navigation system.


Guaggan Barra, Co. Cork, June 2004

On the last day we went to the famous Guaggan Barra in County Cork. The little island with the church dates back to the 6th century, when Saint Finbarr founded Cork.
Roger was wondering what it would take to become Saint Roger and the church to re-dedicate this shrine to him.


Dublin, June 2004

After the Skelligs and Guagan Barra, McBear and Roger had a look at the map of Ireland and they could see, that by now they had travelled quite a lot of Ireland, including many of the small islands around the Irish coast: Achill Island, Dursey Island, Bear Island, Saltee Islands, Ireland's Eye and Cape Clear.
"We haven't done Tory Island or The Blaskets", Roger pointed out.
"Well, we'll put them on our list of destinations", McBear replied.



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