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Our journey around Ireland has suddenly reached the point when it could be called hard core expedition. Two reasons, one very personal, I’ve had porridge for breakfast four times now. The second one is a team one, we did get up at 4.30am today to paddle. And that is definitely hardcore.

We need to catch the tide to take us through Bull’s Mouth on the north side of Achill Island. And as we chose not to paddle against it in the most narrow place, the early wake up had to be sustained. However this resulted in a welcome surprise for Lindsey.

We reached Achill Sound, and by 8.30am after two hours of paddling, and she got a proper cup of tea. We don’t carry milk with us, and neither do use powder milk, so proper cup of tea is only for weather-bound days and special occasions.

We continued south and passed Kildavnet Castle, a tower house built in 16th century by the O’Malley’s clan, and connected to pirate princess.

From here we crossed over to Clare Island. Lindsey could not believe her luck, it was only noon, and with our lunch she had another cup of proper tea.

Clare island also has a tower house, this one wider, known as Granouaile’s Castle, and the pirate princess is said to have her head buried here.

Since we started so early, we had plenty of time to go where we pleased, and so we decided to continue to Inishturk, some two hours of paddling from Clare.

Here we didn’t find any tower house, but had another opportunity to indulge Lindsey in yet another cup of proper tea. Now, I can’t complain as it meant I squeezed three cups of coffee from todays’ paddling as well.

And since Inishturk offered great views of Clew Bay we decided to stay here tonight.

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