Today, I went by boat to the marvelous and "mysterious" island of Inchagoill. I was supposed to go yesterday but, although the weather came out nice later in day, it was cloudy in the morning, and later on my host told me that it was good that I didn't go yesterday because despite the fact the weather came out good later on, but the air was active and there was some current in the lake.
However, I went on today in almost one hour journey to the island which was thick with trees and bushes, thus from afar you'd see only a green spot on the surface of the water. I got some pictures on the boat and there were other small islands and some of them contained houses as well! It was just beautiful. I had to catch most of the photos using Tv (shutter-speed mood), because of the shake along the way, and seems the Photoshop CS2 is not as good as CS4 with aligning the images together, thus I will keep this hard work for later. Lot of photos are waiting to be processed back home.
We reached the island, and according to my guide, he said the island is now mainly not inhabited, but it was mainly populated by the Sullivans, and another family I can't remember its name (but it stards with C and got V in the middle and Y at the end!!). We walked in narrow slippery pathways and reached the church or the monastery first. It was cool and peaceful, and you would still meditate in that old hard-rocky building. You can still see the avatar and the place where the font was kept. There, I couldn't resist to run a 180 degrees shoot (with no tripod) to the hall. But there is a question that always kept me puzzled: why the entrances of such old places were narrow and sometimes even small so that you have to lower your head down to get in?!
Some steps away into a little fine height out of the monastery there was the grave yard. It was a small yard and few gravestones were showing, and some of them were dating back to 1988. Some of the stones were legible but most of them were washed out, and the weird thing is that according to my guide who is a frequent visitor to the place (and I think he works to the government to check the island and its habitat), he said that in his 21 years life time he never heard of someone buried in this island, despite the fact that one of the gravestones read clearly that this lady who was 37 years old when she died, was dead on the 27th of May, 1988. She was a Sullivan as well. On the back of this row of grave stones, my eyes captured a weird type of gravestone and obviously it was ancient but I can't really say how old is it. According to brochures, this island should have a grave stone for St Patrick nephew, so I wonder if this grave stone is for him;
There was a chamber made of hard stones few steps away from the grave yard but I couldn't really tell what so special about it and why is it there. It could be a chamber for the graveyard keeper maybe? Who knows!
During my observations for the gravestones, my guide left me for some minutes to go somewhere, where he heard some sounds of chainsaw as we came into the dock of the island. However, after his arrival and we started to leave the place heading to a place called "The Coffee House" or "The Café House" (could not hear my guide clearly when he said the name several times!), we passed through some timber that was cut and organized in the shape of a pillar! My guide laughed and said to me that he made it that way when the two men who were cutting them moved away from the location, and they would get back and see this and think there is a ghost in the island! We couldn't stop laughing at the trick!
After some long slippery way and raising on some hill, we reached the Coffee House. It was a small place, but because the gate was so close to the trees, I couldn't get back enough to take a full image of it, thus I had to resort to the old trick; Panoramic shot. There were some stuff inside, like a coat maybe or a jacket and trousers forgotten by some people! The graffiti was all over the walls inside. At the back there was a stairway that lead to the top of the building (and of course everything was made of hard rock) and from the top I got a spectacular view of the lake and the trees, and here I went on catching a panoramic shot as well. The most significant tree that you can see almost every where in the island was the scotch fir as my guide called it. It is straight and high tree and almost bears no branches with the greeny part being on the top of the tree, just like one big broccoli!
When we got down there, my guide showed me also a small door that lead to the chimney and it was so small and dark that I could barely see anything inside. Finishing from that we had a long walk on a hill and some slopes down to reach the dock again. I took some pictures along the way for some trees and my guide showed me a fir tree that was, according to him, the oldest in the island and the hugest. You cannot wrap your arms around its trunk. From the looks of it, I do believe that it is something like a thousand years old!
Still the surprises were not over yet, on the way to the dock, my guide got deep into the forest at some point and called me to join him, and he showed me a house that is forgotten and not attended. It is also built by rocks and the plants grew every where on it that you can hardly notice its walls. Of course the roof was long gone. My guide said that he would notice the government about this house, who might be forgotten maybe mainly because it has nothing special about it except that it would be a good example of how people lived in this island in the 1800s or 1700s even, as some chambers were obvious and the structure for the chimney was obvious, where a special room to keep the cattle was visible as well. My guide said it is most probably was inhabited by the Sullivans, who were farmers and most of the island were like farm lands (and his own father worked on potatoes harvest on this island long time before) before the government decided to make it a tourism attraction and planted the trees and made the forests we see now.
Just before we leave the island, there was a little spot of clear land among the trees which was a place for BBQ parties as my guide said. The traces of burnt tree trunks and the benches were like they had been used no more than 3 days I would say. My guide said that there is no danger for fires here since the soil is damp and full of green mostly!
We left the island on a long way back home, and I was so exhausted that I slept for 30 minutes on my bed while I was typing this entry of the blog and the laptop was on my lap (duh!) while I was lying down. 1 day is left for me here, and on the 14th I have a long way back to Dublin. Tomorrow will be a busy day for me sort of. I will be packing and checking that everything is fine. I have my fears with my luggage weight though...