Details of the Retreat

This week is to enjoy ourselves and our crafts in the beautiful surroundings of Inish Mor.  If you wish to spin, please bring your wheel and your fibre.  All animal products will need to have been washed thoroughly to meet the requirements of Foot and Mouth Control Quarantine.  You may prefer roving in the cirumstances.  I will make enquiries regarding the availability of fleece on the island.  In 2000, I was able to get a Cheviot fleece.  Some yarn is available on the Island:  approximately 30 Irish pounds a kilogram for cream Aran weight last time I was there.  You may prefer to stock up at Hickey's department store in Dublin or Galway.

I suggest we aim to meet at the Hostel on the afternoon of Sunday 15th September 2002.  Of course you may come earlier, or later, but please let the hostel know which nights you wish to stay. There are several ferries from Rosseveal daily, including a 1.30pm sailing. There is also an air service, and ferries from Doolin in Clare at this time of year.  Taxis, including the horse drawn variety meet all the ferries.  There is also a public bus which charges about the same as the taxis:  about 2 Irish pounds per trip.  The hostel is in Killeany just south of the main village of Kilronan, a moderately long walk.  More details in Getting There.

The hostel is very basic.  It costs 6 Irish pounds a night for bed and breakfast.  There are several dormitory rooms, shared bathrooms, inside plumbing.  The kitchen has gas cookers, refrigerator and basic utensils.  The sitting room is heated, if we need it.  Aran enjoys a  temperate maritime climate, so while September should still be warm with occasional rain, an Atlantic gale could blow for days.  There are several other Bed and Breakfasts and a hotel "Tigh Fitz" nearby, so if you don't like sharing and can't stand snorers, a higher standard of private accommodation is available within walking distance.  You must book your accommodation at the hostel or otherwise yourself.

We have the use of the sitting room during the day and evening to spin, knit, talk, hold a workshop or whatever.  Likewise we have the use of the kitchen for all our meals.  There are pubs, restaurants, a cafe and a supermarket in Kilronan to supply our food.  We can decide at the time.

Between now and September I will try to coordinate some activities.  Most people like to go out to Dun Aonghasa, the prehistoric fort on the cliff face and to visit some of the Christian ruins.  Dara Molloy, the Celtic monk who runs An Chairrag has agreed to act as our tour guide.  We could have one day visiting the major sites and another for some of the less well known, but equally interesting smaller sites.  These tours are optional and we will share the costs of the guide and the transportation.

I will also try to organise a local knitter to come and spend some time with us, perhaps talking about what has become "Traditional Aran Knitting" and the new directions the craft may be taking.  Perhaps we could aim for a small project/sampler to be completed during our stay. Again, costs will be shared among those participating.

One activity that may be of interest is dyeing with locally available plants.  I spent many happy hours doing this with a young Belgian volunteer during my last visit.  There are always some surprises.

When you have decided to join the retreat, please email the hostel with your details and also let me know.  The hostel will ask you to forward a deposit of 25 euros and tell you how to do it.

These islands are a great place to relax and go with the flow..................................see you there.

Kerry Edwards

                                            Advance booking:
                                            Killeany Lodge Pilgrim Hostel
                                            Inis Mór, Aran Islands
                                            County Galway
                                            Tel. 099-61393 / 61245
                                            Fax. 099-61968

                                  Pauline McDonagh and Kerry Edwards 2000