It was the second day of my Ireland trip and though I have been to Ireland many times before, I have never ventured to see the Cliffs of Moher, or much of the West Coast. I would either get side tracked with seeing other things, visting with friends, or wanting to wait until it was a sunny day. The day I went it was crystalline clear.
I wanted to get more experience driving on the other side of the road, tooling to the outskirts of Shannon, Limerick, Westport and Clifden. This trip didn’t disappoint. This trip was a solo ride over the hill and through the farms to see water, ancient school houses, cows, horses, donkeys and sheep roaming freely.
I got up around 9 or so and looked out the window and noticed it was another sunny day. My phone was finally working and in the US it was 3 am. Too early to call anyone there, except maybe the local rooster.
I grabbed my GPS, a jacket and drove to the Cliffs. On my way, I took into account that it was a good thing that the car I rented was small and able to weasel through skinny streets. Most of the time this trip, there weren’t many cars coming in the opposite direction. It was a crystal clear day, most everyone was at the beach and everyone kept saying that it was their summer. I suppose I take summer for granted being at the beach most of the time at home, but was so grateful my vacation was getting sunny days.
The drive was full of scenery. I opted to jam to Spin FM most of my stay in Ireland, with an occasional flip to another station when I got bored. I did spend a lot of time in the car, and was glad to do it. It was the only way I was going to see parts of Ireland and venture to places unseen by a bus. I also was glad to be back in a manual transmission, though on the other side of the car, but not a boring automatic.
On the way down the N67 from the hotel it was Usher with Ludacris, and later on another station it was the Eagles. I’m a bad singer, any roommate I ever had growing up said it, so I know better than to make a bet I’ll win karaoke or think I might make money singing.. I still have a good time singing though, solo car jams, running on the beach (when no one is around) and anywhere else I can get away with it is where I’ll sing. I’ve often said that I doubt I could’ve gotten through a marathon (or most any workout), without tunes. I’ve retired running in ‘22, but still hit the gym for workouts, & always with a headset.
When I first started running, I wanted to get to thirty minutes nonstop. This was when I was a teenager. I had read somewhere you needed to be at a full thirty minutes of running before you could even deal with speedwork. I alternated running and walking to songs with a headset to the local radio stations (back then it was a FM stereo and the radio stations were usually WAPE or Rock 105 in Jacksonville, FL.) One song on running and one song off by walking. I’m always looking for a good beat. These days, good beats get me through eighty reps of ab work on the Captain’s chair (per set) or a good 9 mile run in humidity where when I’m done, it’s nothing but nirvana. The goal is to keep this up and not slow down, merely stay “status quo”.
When I got to the Cliffs of Moher, I parked for about 6 Euro. I was excited to see what was up on the horizon. It was crowded, with buses pulling in and lotsa people all around. The walkway went all the way up to the middle of each of the two cliffs. The pathway went right up the middle and once at the top it was a dichotomy of picturesque beauty that I doubt man could recreate.
I decided facing the water that I’d go to the right up the hill, and see the cliff with the castle on it. I looked over the cliff and there was a boat and a plane flying over. Behind me there were cows and horses. I did a quick video which I enjoyed.
The view from the top of the first cliff had some cows on the way to the cliff to the other side. On my way there, I decided I’d stop by and see Elsie & company. (The cows who were all relaxed). It was a scream. I decided I’d have a quick video there, too. The best way I knew how to make it funny in the video, was to say they hadn’t had their coffee yet. All five of them were laying down. I was hoping for a “moo”, but didn’t get one so I left the scene and walked up the hill. A section of the hill was fenced off and you were allowed to go past the point, but not without a warning that you were headed to a dangerous area & to be cautious. The other signage was encouraging anyone depressed to stop and get help. It never occurred to me much that peeps might go there to jump off. There was a suicide in my family and anyone that’s been through it knows it’s heinous. I didn’t want to put a somber mood to my fun day, so I kept the momentum going and hopped the wall everyone else was hopping and got pictures of the gulls down below and a 360 view of the trip to that side of the hill. They were just incredible.
I didn’t get to chat much with anyone there. I heard a lot of different languages, Chinese, Russian and Spanish. The most entertaining bunch was the pack of ladies were headed up the hill together and chatting on days of their teens. I imagined they must’ve been in their 70’s.
It was around 1 or so and at that point I still had a good bit of the daylight left. I had to take advantage of the good driving conditions. Had it been raining or dark, I doubt I would’ve done all that I did.
The next stop was a solo car jam up to West Port. I had been there the previous year, under worse weather, & it’s still as cool.
I don’t regret my decision to go on the backroads one bit. I will say though, it’s not my recommendation to drive at night on unfamiliar roads. There are no street lights in some areas. The drop off on some cliffs near Westport are 60 stories high, & there are no railings around some areas. If you made a wrong turn, you might go off a Cliff and not even know it, so day driving is my best recommendation.
Remember to laugh every day or make someone else do it. And remember, YOU are FABULOUS.