‘Do you want to see Paradise?’ she asked me. What could I say, but, of course.
Getting away for a few days, out of the daily routine, sunshine in my face, sand in my toes, the smell of the ocean and mountain heather and an Irish wedding in the west of Ireland, it was an embarrassment of riches and attractions.
And after three days and nights of that, well, she asked me the question; do I want to see Paradise?
Achill Island is attached to Ireland by a sound and a short bridge. It is covered in rhododendrons at this time of the year so it was like driving through a purple forest, along the narrow, winding roads of the island. But where we were going, at the far end of the island, there was a mountain and beyond that mountain, by a long winding road that climbs and then descends, is the beach, Keem beach or, as Maria said to me, Paradise.
We started our day on Old Head beach, another beautiful spot, overlooked by Croagh Patrick.
Then we took off on the road to Achill, the green route on the map that becomes pink, when it reaches the island.
There wasn’t much traffic but quite a few sheep, well, this is their territory and they have the run of the place. For this reason you have to be careful when you’re driving along a cliff-side blacktop, over the side of a mountain.
But Maria promised Paradise and, well, she was right.
And then this.
And, finally, this.