Andrew Cox

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Friday, June 6, 2008

Summertime on Bofin

The Irish 3-day event returned to Inishbofin after a two year absence. Once again the sun split the rocks. The lengthy car journey from Waterford up the river Suir to Cahir castle via Carrick and Clonmel is the easy bit. Heading onward to Limerick via ,that blink it and you miss it, Limerick junction, the road gets twistier. Limerick to Galway is not bad after all the investment on the infrastructure around Shannon airport and the need to whizz coachloads of Americans off to Connemara. Galway city to Clifden along the N59 has seen major improvements in recent years but is still slow through Moycullen and Oughterard. Reaching Maam Cross, you get the feeling of being in the real Connemara with peat bogs and spectacular scenery. Last sign of civilisation at Clifden before the islands. Take the ferry at Cleggan for the 45 minute trip to Inishbofin. You arrive in past Cromwells fort which guards the entrance to the harbour. Busy weekend, two weddings (and no funeral) has booked out the island. Negative effect in that it reduces the number of orienteers that can get non-tent accommodation and makes the ferry very busy. On to our accommodation at the excellent Galley B and B/cafe on the east end of the island. Do not mention the Corncrake to those bleary eyed residents who in the interests of preserving the habitat of the bird under the REP's scheme have to listen to that blasted noise all night. What does the east end have that the west does not?...the best two sandy beaches.

On to the 1, short and not too technical but very steep in places on the west end of the island. Day 2 in the Middle Quarter close to the new runway was the long day with the most difficult part being navigating the new tracks close to the runway. Day 3 was close to the harbour and mixed fast running around the fort peninsula with tricky open terrain further east.
All round an excellent weekend brought to a fine conclusion by the playful antics of a school of dolphins as we docked in Cleggan.

If you get the chance next time round, I would give it 1o out of 10 for fun (oh and some orienteering!)