Who's been to the Blasket Islands?

Old Mar 31st, 2008, 04:08 PM
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Who's been to the Blasket Islands?

We are staying at Couminole Cottage in Dingle Peninsula the end of the April. We'd like to go to the Blasket Islands if we can. Has anyone been and can you tell us what you did, any special tips?

Did it take the whole day? Is the boat ride scary? Any comments would be welcome.

Thanks,
Craig
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Old Mar 31st, 2008, 05:07 PM
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Craig, the Cultural Center is excellent, and I recommend you visit there for sure.
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Old Mar 31st, 2008, 05:17 PM
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Why would you want to go there? Serious question. In other words, do you know why the Great Blasket is considered a special place? (It's the only one of the islands you can get to visit, and when you see the group, you'll figure why.)

If you are considering going, I suggest that you read at least one book from the Blaskets bookshelf. An easy introduction is The Blasket Islands by Joan and Ray Stagles. If you are not sufficiently interested to do that, then I suggest that it's not worth your while going.

A big half-day is enough for most visitors. Whether you consider the boat ride scary depends on how you feel about boats and the sea.
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Old Mar 31st, 2008, 05:20 PM
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Oh, and yes, I've been there to visit the ancestral home. Mar tá ár leithéidí fós ann.
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Old Apr 1st, 2008, 07:30 AM
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The boats may not be running in April.  We were in Dunquin in July 4 years ago and took a trip out from there.  I'm not very adventurous, but I didn't find anything scary about the boat trip. To me it was a magical trip. (We left about 10 and returned about 2:30).  We brought our sandwiches and fruit packed in our pockets and cameras. 

There was sort of a sadness, but a beauty about the island.

As Padraig said, visit the Blasket center in Dunquin to help understand what you will see.

I hope you have a chance to go. 
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Old Apr 1st, 2008, 07:39 AM
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There are at least two boat operators (www.blasketislands.ie and www.blasketisland.com) and firms in Dingle offer an inclusive trip by minibus and boat. You should contact them to check whether they're running.
I've only seen the island from the mainland. I'd imagine it's a great experience - if the weather's right.
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Old Apr 6th, 2008, 07:09 AM
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Thank you all for your help and suggestions. We have made a reservation and have done and will do more research before we go.

Craig

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Old Apr 22nd, 2008, 06:10 PM
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I know you already booked but I just wanted to say that I visited the Blaskets and LOVED it. There is NOTHING there (not even a toilet or a tree to shade you from any rain) but it is incredibly beautiful and serene. Where else can you sit on a cliff on an island practically by yourself and watch the seals frolic in the sea?! I could have spent hours there and wish I had packed a lunch for a picnic. The boat ride isn't very scary (unless you are traveling with a baby, like we were(!)) and is actually fun. Enjoy the Blaskets, I sure did. Reading Peg's Blasket book is still on my to-do list

See my trip report here BTW:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=35053247
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Old Apr 22nd, 2008, 06:31 PM
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Forget Peg Sayers' book; it's the most dismal of all the Blasket writings. Put Muiris O Suilleabhain's Twenty Years A-Growing on your list instead.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2008, 07:58 PM
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Yes, I went to Great Blasket; actually there was a small pub there as I recall. The boatride was fine - some gorgeous young men running the operation -- we came close to the island on a regular motorized boat and then transferred to a little rubber dingy. There was a troop of older Brits on the boat also and they gamely got into the boats just fine and no problem at all.

I loved going there and am very glad I made the effort; took about a half day.
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Old Apr 24th, 2008, 05:47 AM
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Thanks for your suggestions. We are actually leaving on our trip in 1 hour. I enjoyed your trip report Jumper. I will look for the book you suggested Padraig, it looks very good. Annw, I suppose if the "older Brits" were about to get in and out of the dingy without falling out, I can too.
Look for a trip report in about 2 weeks.
So long,
Robbyn and Craig
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Old Apr 24th, 2008, 07:19 AM
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We visited the Blasket Islands in 2003 and loved it. We took a cab to Dunquin and cought the ferry from there. The landing is where you have to be sort of careful as it is kind of primitive. However, the island is beautiful and peaceful. We walked around the island and bought a knit hat from the lady who lived in the cottage during the summer months and sold her wares. There was also a hostel there with bathrooms a little restaurant where you could get a sandwich or something to drink. I would not miss this experience if I were you.
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Old May 24th, 2008, 07:44 AM
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Hi we're back....

We went to the Blasket Islands on about the only sunny, warm day we had on our trip. It was beautiful and we had a wonderful time. So glad we went and will go again on our next trip to Dingle. Thanks for all your suggestions and help.
Some pictures of our trip:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fishermarie/

Marie
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Old May 25th, 2008, 10:07 AM
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I enjoyed your pictures. I am so glad that you decided to go out to the Blasket Island and found it wonderful. When we were there, the blasket day was our only one with so much sun, not a drop while we were coming and going or on the island. Hwever, shortly after our return, a hard shower came down.

Thanks for sharing!
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