We had arrived in Galway on Day Four and eaten an early dinner at Tigh Fox, a traditional Irish music house, then headed west to the ocean in Connemara. On the Wild Atlantic Way sits Renvyle House Hotel and Resort.
Renvyle has been around for centuries as a private home, opening as a hotel for the first time in 1883. Many famous people have graced its 150 acres, including W. B. Yeats and Winston Churchill. We were greeted by a dramatic yet serene sunset. When it was finally dark, we stopped by the pub on site for a toddy and to listen to musicians fiddling away.
In the morning we left our house on the property to explore. We got the lay of the land from first class fly fisherman Jackie Coyne (left below) who was talking shop with a fellow fisherman when I struck up a conversation with him. He was present for a tournament being held on the premises, and proudly announced he had secured a spot in the World Championships being held later this year in Connemara.
He pointed in the direction of his grandmother’s ancestral home across the water, which bears a resemblance to a castle of long ago. He pointed in another direction and said if we went straight, we’d arrive at the North Pole.
Finally he indicated the direction of New Foundland, and I told him my father was born in Bay Bulls. As I looked toward the country, I felt a connection with the past, a land I’ve never seen, and my dad.