The day started as almost all days have started, Nick’s alarm going off (my dad’s a morning person), shortly followed by a snarky comment from Mike complaining that “he’s on holiday, and will get rid of that blinkin’ thing one of these mornings…”. We showered, had a light breakfast, and then headed out for the Cliffs of Moher.
We headed straight for the coast, joining the Wild Atlantic Way road that basically hugs the whole coastline. We had originally planned to drive around Limerick, but after checking out the map, we found a quick ferry that cut out a number of miles, and keeps us along the coast. So, we hopped on the 20 minute ferry from Tarbert to Killimer and kept on the Wild Atlantic Way.
However, some of it, as we found out quickly, is more of a gravel/grass road… alright for Nick and I’s bikes, but not great for the other two. We did see some great views, interrupted briefly by moments of slight panic, feeling like we were being blown over. They weren’t kidding when they said 70 km gale winds. We stopped at the only pub actually open, the Keating Bar, had a local ale, and some really good seafood chowder. We wanted to sit outside, but Mike was afraid all his chips would blow away.
We jumped back on the bikes, and tracked the coast for the next few hours. We passed through towns full of colorful houses, sitting on the coastline, and everything in between blowing east. We stayed on the coast as it started to climb, and we got some stunning views, while riding sideways… We even got sprayed with some fresh Atlantic sea that ran into an inlet, shot up, and blew over to us! We traveled onwards to the Cliffs of Moher, pulled in, and because we were going by my memory 4 years ago (Laura, my WONDERFUL wife and I drove through Ireland as part of our honeymoon) , it didn’t seem the same at all! (Could be because Laura and I were there much later, and almost no-one was there!) We paid to park, and then walked up to it. It was as stunning as I had remembered! We stretched our legs, took a number of photographs, spotted some puffins, (and several other birds that my dad knew), and walked through the visitors center on our way out.
We decided from there to high-tail it to Galway via a few more major roads, because this, supposedly being our shortest day, we wanted to spend some time in the town of Galway, to catch a much needed night on the town. We pulled into our air bnb, and were greeted with a cup of tea. Ann, our host, arrived shortly, and gave us some top places to go to, so we dropped our bags and were off to town. Our first stop was for a bite to eat at The King’s Head, where we had a few local pints, and all of us but Paul had a cold plate of some local Irish’s (corned beef, slice of lamb, local smoked goat cheese, delicious blue cheese, homemade chutney, fresh bread, and a few others). When we finished, we headed next door to Taaffes Bar to watch one of the many local bands singing traditional Irish music. The scene reminded me of the Temple Bar area of Dublin… tons of people out, musicians at almost every pub and outside, and Guinness.
We called it an evening after losing our hearing, and singing to one or two of the many songs we heard that night (thanks Dad for bringing me up on The Dubliners). We jumped back in a cab, and when we got back, Ann was still up, so we shared a few nightcaps, and a specially homemade Potcheen that Ann broke out for us and her friend she was with. We shared some laughs, and some prayers, before turning in for the night. Thanks Ann for the warming drink, and the warm welcome of your hospitality.
Here’s just a few from day 5.
Our expected route for Day 6 is below.