Isn’t it great to discover a new place, a new location, somewhere you’ve never been before, and to be totally amazed by what you find? This happened me when we went to Omey and Claddaghduff in County Galway for a weekend with a friend who is from the area.
We stayed in a house facing towards Omey beach. So each morning we woke up looking out on to the Atlantic Ocean. There is only one shop close-by which is also the local pub and post office. Mobile phone reception was hit and miss, and we had no internet connection, so it was a real “get away from it all” spot.
Across the beach from us we could see Omey Island which is only about a mile wide and it is tidal. This means you can drive to it from the mainland when the tide it out and there are a series of markers to show you the way. But if you misjudge the times, you might find yourself stranded on the island at high tide waiting for the tide to go back out so you can drive to the mainland again. The sea only reaches a depth of about 6ft or 7ft in that area, so it is not too deep, but definitely not suitable for driving through.
Before we arrived we had heard that people get caught out by the tides regularly. The stories are all true. We saw it happening several times during the weekend we were there. One day there were 3 cars waiting patiently on the island for the tide to go out!!
There is also a story, or it may be a legend, of a man who lived on the island who used to walk home whether the tide was in or out. He had – McGyver style – created his own scuba mask/snorkel that allowed him to breathe as he walked through the sea home to the island.
What do you think? Truth or flight of fancy? I’m still not sure.
The kids loved their visit to Omey beach. The weather didn’t matter, they just got out there for hours in the fresh air, sunshine, wind and passing showers. The wide expanse of beach, no traffic and nothing else to do meant that they spent the entire time playing in the sand and among the rocks. Not a Nintendo or iPod to be seen.
We definitely plan to go back.
By the way, you can click on any of my photos above to enlarge and get the full view.
Map of this area of County Galway: