World Cup Fishing Boats on Lough Mask, Ireland

World Cup Fishing Boats on Lough Mask, Ireland

Like I promised I went back to watch the fishing boats coming back from a days competing to get the heaviest catch of fish. The World Cup Fishing Contest on Lough Mask certainly is a big deal. There were a lot of local fisherman but people from a lot further a field trying to catch as many trout as they could – including someone from China! The heaviest catch today came in at over 11 pounds.

Brown Oak River, Newport, Ireland

Brown Oak River, Newport, Ireland

The local town to Clew Bay is Newport so we decided to have a quick look around at the shops which we had driven past as we headed toward Bartraw Beach. The river in the photo below is the Brown Oak River which flows right through the towns centre.

Bartraw Beach, Clew Bay, West Coast, Ireland

Bartraw Beach, Clew Bay, West Coast, Ireland

Coming all this way from home to the west coast of Ireland I was determined to actually see the coast line. I knew that it would be open crystal clear waters or tropical white sandy beaches but I was pleasantly surprised at the natural beauty at Clew Bay (and I’m not just talking about Claire). The views looking up at Croagh Patrick one way and then out towards the bay where quite magical. We stopped at Bartraw Beach – I wanted to go swimming but it was getting a little late and the water was very cold. Clew Bay is famous for its 365 islands and its unspoiled coastline.

Ballintubber Abbey, County Mayo, Ireland

Ballintubber Abbey, County Mayo, Ireland

When doing a spot of pre-travel research I came across one distinct place to go and visit in county Mayo – Ballintubber Abbey. It is a royal abbey founded by King Cathal Crobdearg O’Connor in 1216. It is evidently the only church in Ireland founded by an Irish king that it still regularly used. Actor James Bond Pierce Brosnan was married here and the abbey marks the beginning of Tochar Phadraig which is the ancient pilgrimage route to Croagh Patrick 18 miles away.