Tuesday, June 11, 2013

UK Adventure: Day 15 Galway, Coastal Route, Cliffs of Moher, Limerick, Ireland

We left Dublin about noon, and headed across country towards the west coast.
Our tour book suggested a stop in Galway, which was along our way, to check out the Spanish Arch.
Yup, that's it.

The Hall of the Red Earl, a Great hall used for gatherings in 600 A.D. preserved under the foundations of another building built overhead on stilts.
Where is it ....

Yup, that's it.

Charming enough, but not really worth the stop.

But there was still the spawning salmon.

Yup, another miss.
The Spanish Arch was just as unimpressive the second time by.

Maybe it was the weather, maybe it was the mood in the car, but we both found Galway to be very underwhelming.
Thankfully we were not far from the coast and the route out to the Cliffs of Moher made up for our disappointments of the day thus far.
The roads were just about wide enough for two cars along the coast and in some spots just wide enough for one. It was rugged, it was twisty and it was for the most part empty of traffic. Just what the doctor ordered to add a little spark back into this road trip and I enjoyed driving along on the "wrong side" of the road as fast as our little car would go.
We even stopped to walk along the beach,

... and climbed some cliffs at the side of the road.

Then it was back in the car and onto the Cliffs of Moher, which stand 702 feet at its highest point and stretch 8 kms along the Atlantic, in the County of Clare in the west of Ireland. We arrived at 5:00 pm and we got out and walked the entire 8 km route then turned around and came right back, making it back just after 8:00 pm. If my wife had told me how far it was from the start I would not of believed her or even have done it for that matter, but she didn't. And because its on a cliff, you are constantly walking in a zigzag fashion following the cliff face and it doesn't seem that far, at first. It always seems to be just around the next corner, forever and ever, like some bad horror movie come to life. But since I didn't know the distance, it didn't start to hurt until we were on the way back and at that point there was nothing I could do about it except keep walking. In the end it was worth every horrible step I took get there and back. The Cliffs of Moher turned out to be one of the highlights of our entire trip.
Absolutely spectacular.

At one end, Hags Head, 390 feet above the Atlantic Ocean.

Headed to the far end of the tip, O'Brien's Tower.

Uh oh ...

Hag's Head in the background.

Cliffs on one side, cows and a electric fence on the other.

Starting to get high.

Still a ways to go.

The cliffs are home to a Puffin sanctuary. There are thousands of them.

And even the odd raven or two.

Can you see me?

How about now?

Still not there yet.

Chalk this one up to it seemed like a good idea at the time.

And then I put my legs over the edge and felt the wind on my back and all of a sudden it didn't seem like such a good idea after all.

Fake smile. Just take the picture so I can get outta here!

Finally! O'Brein's Tower is in sight!

Made it!


And now for the long walk home. Should I tell him how long it is? Nah, I'll wait unit we get back to the car...

We made it to Limerick later that night, with at total of 270 miles driven for the day.
We went to a local restaurant for dinner, one of the best of he trip, and then finally a pub, for some live music and a few pints.

We met a boxer who bought us a drink and introduced us to his friend the magician and I got a little drunk and we all had a very good time. At the end of the evening, my wife and I went back to our hotel room and while we were getting ready for bed a woman walked into our room thinking it was her room. A quick call to the front desk fixed that and we were given a complementary Irish breakfast the next morning for our troubles. All in a town called Limerick.
You have got to love Ireland.

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