Saturday, March 25, 2023

Some of the signature points along Mayo’s stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way – long before the Wild Atlantic Way was even an idea – all feature in a beautiful home movie that was shot all of 64 years ago by a Scottish man who together with a group of friends spent a summer kayaking north to south along the west coast of Ireland from Donegal, hugging the coastlines of Sligo and Mayo all the way to Co Galway.

‘Kayak in Kodachrome’ documents a trip that Hamish Gow undertook with his pals in 1959, taking the ferry from Glasgow to Derry before embarking on the sea trip down Ireland’s epic Atlantic coast. Hamish filmed the trip and as you will see from the 28-minute colour film, took some timeless and stunning footage that gives a wonderful insight into life in the west of Ireland, and the daily routines of its people, at the time.

The extremely rare footage, which is narrated all these years later by Hamish Gow himself, shows the kayakers in and around the sea stack and caves at Downpatrick Head, mixing with the locals at Achill Sound and on Clare Island, and even making it as far as Inishturk before travelling on to Renvyle and overland to Galway City, via Lough Corrib.

The production for many will evoke childhood memories and for others, offer an intriguing glimpse of a very different Ireland that in relative terms, is still not all that long ago.

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