It’s the October Bank Holiday weekend in Ireland, and like most of the year so far, it’s a strange one. Normally, we’d be somewhere else in Ireland hiking over the weekend with the Galway Walking Club. However, because of the Level-5 Covid restrictions, I’m restricted to within 5km of where I live. I can’t complain – the restriction still includes almost all of the city, from Barna Woods, Rusheen Bay and Salthill Promenade through to Merlin Woods and Menlo. And I can visit the Claddagh and Mutton Island or explore the entire NUIG campus. The weather has been challenging this weekend – a yellow wind warning would have put a stop to mountain hiking in any case and the bursts of torrential rain, thunder and lightning wouldn’t have made outdoor activities much fun.
The light was dramatic over the Claddagh this morning, as the winds send dark clouds whizzing across the sky.

Later in the day, my wife and I went for a walk out to Mutton Island and completely forgot to bring waterproof trousers. Of course we got drenched – the wind was sending ice-cold sea spray across the causeway all the time. Though we got drenched, it provided an excuse to stop by The Gourment Tart Company outlet by the Claddagh Basin (which probably gets the best view of sunrise in the city). A hot choclate with plenty of marshmallows touch the sting out of the soaking.