Tuesday 30 August 2016
30.08.2016 - 30.08.2016 21 °C
Something that makes me happy in Ireland is sunshine. That’s what we woke to after our late night in Bunratty. We checked out the wool shop near the hotel and then headed back up that freeway again to Ennis and its three roundabout. Roundabout – now that is another story in Great Britain and Ireland. Our intention was to return to the Cliffs of Moher to see what the weather was like. As we drove away yesterday, we noticed a parking sign about 200 metres south of the visitor’s centre. Ross also saw a sign that said parking for walking track to cliffs. We took the turn and went along this goat track, weaving between farm fences but following the parking sign as we went. What we found was a family that has set up parking in their year. They charge €2 and you walk to the cliffs so we thought we would give it a go.
The walk headed uphill, a southern approach to the cliffs. The cows sat chewing their cud in the fields on one side of the track. They were a strange looking animal with short legs and very stocky feet. The farmers have set up fences and stone steps for gateways to guide the visitors. Finally, we reached the top of the fields and we weren’t disappointed. We were actually looking in the reverse direction to what we saw yesterday afternoon but in this area, there are no protective fences and when you are nearly 700 feet above the water, it was a little unnerving. You can see the shale rock ready to crack away. They use the rock to build their fences. Ross is quite comfy on the edge but I am not so brave. We walked around three of the headlands to what we thought was roughly half way, maybe four kilometres from where the car was parked. If we had have had time, we could have walked all the way to the visitor’s centre but we had an appointment. On our way back out of the goat track, we found our route blocked. A semitrailer had come up one of these very narrow lanes and had jammed himself as he attempted to take his rig around the corner - craziness. I thought for a moment that we were stuck, but there was another road out. It turned out to be the road that Ross saw the sign for briefly this morning. We were not sure how the truckie would get on but when we left they had a tractor trying to pull him back. What a mess.
After the disappointment of Ross not being able to play golf on some of the golf courses we had seen due to it being the weekend, I rang from Bunratty to see if he could get a tee time at Trump International Golf Course at Doonbeg, another links course. He managed to get a start at 4.10pm - twilight golf – and we had a room for the night. Our room was not ready when we arrived so we grabbed a bite to eat and headed for the tee. It was a fantastic outing for the first six holes. Unfortunately, it started to rain. Being the official photographer, I wrestled with my umbrella just to try to keep telling the story. The back of my pants were all wet as we had left the ponchos in the other bag. It cleared for a bit and then the clouds built again and by this time, we were heading back towards the hotel. This meant that the front of my pants were now saturated and the water was running into my shoes. “Molly the Brolly” was not fairing so well in the wind. The group ahead of us was soooo slow once again and it was so frustrating having to wait for them being so wet and cold. Now I had the umbrella of sorts but Ross was totally saturated from head to foot and his club was slipping when he tried to hit. By the time we reached the eighteenth hole, the wheels had fallen off – ball ended up in the long grass – and Ross didn’t even get to putt on the last hole. We did get to watch a beautiful sunset over the Atlantic Ocean though. You’ve got to love this game called golf!
We had a lovely meal in the bistro bar. I had the best seafood chowder I have ever tasted. Ross’ rack of lamb was yum as well. Our room was beautiful – the toilet flushed, the shower worked and the bed was soft and comfy.