We’re a day late, I was major exhausted by the time we arrived in Galway last night, but I wanted to still dedicate a post to yesterday, because it was truly the experience of a life time!
Yesterday we trampsed, and I will describe to you what a trampse it was, to the Serpent’s Lair- also know as The Worm Hole, one of the most remote places on the globe- to experience the Red Bull Cliffdiving World Series 2017. It was such an incredible adventure! I also got to wear my new hat, lol.
We purposefully chose Ennis as an overnight place, because it was as close as we could get to the village of Doolin where the ferry to Inis Mor leaves from, at the time we managed to get our tickets for the event. This allowed us to wake up at 5 am, get a quick breakfast, pack up the car, and be on the road by 6 am. We then drove fourty minutes through narrow roads, to reach the village of Doolin. It is booming with B&Bs, and a couple nice restaurants and serves as the ferry terminal for the Aran Islands as well as boat tours to the Cliffs of Moher.
We checked in for the event at 7 am, receiving wrist bands which would be our tickets for the day, and then boarded a ferry at 7:30 am. This took us for a loppy as goodness knows what fourty five minute ferry ride through the Atlantic with six foot swells and fog, out to the most westerly of the Aran Islands- Inis Mor.
Inis Mor itself is the home of the Aran Islands sweater shop, and has a lot of history associated with its sweaters. The different knitting patterns are all symbolic, and have much religious significance. The sweaters were worn to help keep the fishermen safe while they were out in the unforgiving Atlantic. Each family had its own unique combination of knitting patterns, which served its own morbid purpose of helping identify the bodies of the drowned fishermen when they washed ashore…
On a brighter note, Inis Mor is also known for a variety of hiking trails and backpackers come from all over to camp on the island. There are hardly any vehicles on the island, as the ferries are passenger ferries only, and only a few tour operators have vans for collecting their passengers. It is completely covered in these unique rock fences, as there also weren’t many trees on the island when it was originally settled, and we got to see lots of these during our fifteen minute bus trip further inland.
Once we arrived further inland, we were dropped off in a field which Red Bull had designated as the “spectator area” with queues for breakfast sandwiches, port-a-potties, and swag bags. It was actually quite a production, with people giving out free Red bull everywhere, the swag bags, little Red bull cars, so much branding!
After about an hour and a half of hanging out in the spectator area, we were led to a hiking trail, where we hiked fifteen minutes in over farming fields and barren cliffs to reach The Serpent’s Lair!
It was set up with viewing platforms near the diving board, and down below at about halfway and down at the edge of the natural pool. The diving boards were about 24 m from the pool for the ladies and 27 m for the men! That’s higher than the 10 m height used in the Olympics!!!
Depending on what ferry you came on, you would have a different couloured wrist band, and that determined your viewing area. We ended up being assigned near the diving boards, which meant we didn’t get to see anyone actually enter the water, which was a little disappointing, but we did see lots of twists and take offs, especially for the men!
Afterwards we spent an hour having some lunch in town, and learned that this event brings triple the usual number of visitors to the island, around 1000 people!
Once we refueled with lunch, we headed back to the car via the ferry, and settled in for our hour and a half drive to Galway. We are now settled into a lovely apartment in the suburbs for three nights, and looking forward to spending time relaxing!
Expect a post on today soon 🙂 xo