Thoughts on fitness, health, good nutrition ... and running.

Welcome to Bald Man Running, a blog launched by Frank Murphy on January 1, 2015.

In March, 2013 I was selected as a contestant for the sixth season of Fort Wayne's Smallest Winner. Through this amazing program, I learned about good nutrition, sound exercise and accountability. By October, I would lose over 88 pounds (almost 37% of my original weight)! One of the many things I acquired through FWSW was a love for running. You can retrace my weight loss journey and discover how I became a runner by reading those entries labeled "fwsw" ...

Note: Many of the blog entries on this website predate 1/1/2015. Prior to launching BMR, I had written articles for various projects, and I have imported many of them into this blog (labeled "retro").

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Ireland Day 2

Full photo album - https://photos.app.goo.gl/6bn3sNp2XqMJcbk68

Stops for today:

This is my first full day in Ireland ... I started in Ennis at a very posh resort/hotel. It was a buffet-style breakfast, so I helped myself to the items in a full Irish breakfast that didn't churn my stomach. No eggs.

Hotel Woodstock, Ennis, County Clare - https://www.hotelwoodstock.ie/

The plan was to go to Doolin and catch the ferry to Inis Mór (Big Island), the largest of the Aran Islands in Galway Bay. I'd spend the day there exploring the island and then take a sea/coastal tour of the Cliffs of Moher.


I got to Doolin early enough to walk around a little bit. I found a sign that said "dinghy" on it ...

These are small cliffs in Doolin. They are not the mighty Cliffs of Moher, but I was still impressed with the turbulence. It would be a harbinger of things to come.

The ferry went right by Inis Oírr, the smallest of the Aran Islands. I was excited to catch a glimpse of the shipwreck of the MV Plassy, which is famously featured in the opening credits of Father Ted, a much-loved sit-com set on "Craggy Island" (which is a fictional location, but inspired by the Arans).

Once I landed on Inis Mór, the plan was to run/walk my way around the island to explore. There is a famous fort about five miles west of the dock in Kilronan. You can rent bikes or pay for a bus tour. I found out that not a lot of folks opt for the "on foot" approach to touring the island. I had about four hours before the ferry returned to the Doolin, and it rained almost the entire time.

No complaints about the rain really. It was still beautiful. There are several sites of interest ... trails, ruins of forts and churches, wild life spots, etc.

This is the big fort I mentioned earlier: Dún Aonghasa. It is at the top of 300 foot high cliff, and there's no railing or fence. It's  quite impressive.

Portions of Banshees of Inisherin (an Oscar-nominated film of 2022) was filmed here. BTW, I really enjoyed the movie. Inisherin, like Craggy Island, is not a real place.

In my adventure around the island, I found these little ones ... I don't know if the one on the right is the Jenny from Banshees ... but I can't be too sure.

Another forts that I wanted to visit was Dún Árann. It was much harder to find ... and when I finally got there, I found it was closed.


I told myself early on that if I were to get to spots and things would be closed/cancelled/etc that I wouldn't let it get me down. That's just part of the experience. This mindset would be tested several times over the course of my trip.

I made it back to port, and was very wet. While I was running and moving, I wasn't feeling the temperature too much, but now I started to get really cold. I spent about 20 minutes in a bathroom hugging the hand dryer in an attempt to dry out.

The trip to Moher was cancelled due to extreme weather ... so I didn't get to see them.

Next stop was Dún Guaire, a castle near Galway. This trip to Ireland had been in the planning stages for a long time. At one point, Anne Marie and I were intending to get married in Ireland, and this place was my first choice. I thought it would be a beautiful sunset setting for a small wedding.

FWIW - I don't know if I mentioned this yet, but I was solo the whole time. It was a "just me" trip to Ireland.

When I got there, the weather broke and I had some beautiful views.


I had to keep driving to Cong (north of Galway) where I would stay the night. On that drive, I learned that I cold use the passenger seat of my rental car as a clothes dryer/warmer. I would spread my wet gloves, hats, shirts, etc on the seat and turn up the seat warmer. I used this trick throughout the whole trip.

Cong is the setting of the 1952 Oscar-winning movie The Quiet Man with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. The BnB I stayed at really leaned into their Quiet Man vibe. They had the movie on DVD available, so I watched it that night before I went to sleep ...

Incidentally, the movie is set in a town called Innisfree ... which is no more real than Inisherin or Craggy Island.


All in all, I had a day that was impetuous and homeric!

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