Clouds hang low over speckled hills. Stone walls run like arteries over grassy slopes, and boulders break through the earth like an announcement. The evening beckons on Inishbofin.
The hostel is well worn. It’s a basic room that fits six. Windows on either side of the first floor room protect me from the howling wind as mothers cry out for their lost lambs. A long thread of Spanish flows in the next room as a mother instructs her child in neverending sentences or so it seems. The child is quiet. He stomps down the stairs, unhappy with the outcome of their conversation.
The smell of grilled shrimp weaves a path to my dorm room. The shared kitchen is a hive of activity as campers and hostellers co-ordinate a dance of chopping, dicing, stirring across the narrow stainless steel room.
The narrow roads of Inishbofin take me down the highways of childhood memories.
The air is clean. The moon is clear in the sky already and children can be heard playing outside on the campsite. It feels like my childhood, with the clock striking ten and everyone still outside taking in the last rays of the sun. Somewhere a lawnmower is working hard to shave the grass of its spring shadow. The smell takes me back to summer holidays spent idly playing in fields, catching tadpoles and hunting for the cat’s kittens. The narrow roads of Inishbofin take me down the highways of childhood memories.
Roads are quiet now, narrow and windy, interrupted by gates and houses and sharp turns. Hedgerows reach out to meet each other but for the occasional car that swiftly removes outstretched branches.
A rainbow disappears, taking away the promise of its treasure. The sky has turned from a burning red to a dark and cloudy grey. It’s time to go inside, peel off shoes and socks and find a cosy nook somewhere before turning in. It’s been a long day of sea air, walking, cycling and jogging one’s memory. It’s time to turn in until tomorrow’s excursion to the East End of the island.