Republic of Ireland - Round The World Tour 2 2003 Day 175


Wednesday 3rd September

When we awoke this morning, we noticed that another van that was parked not too far from us the evening before was still there. The four occupants of the van were now sitting outside eating breakfast. Clearly we weren’t the only ones to have found this nice little secluded spot to overnight.

We finished our own breakfast and I sat down to look at the map and guidebook in order to get a good feel for where we would be going over the next few days. We are continuing our march slowly northwards along the western coast. Just up the road from us is another largish town called Ennis. Originally, we were going to stop there to look around for a short while but at the end of the day it’s just another city. Once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all so we decided to keep on driving.

An absolute must for this part of the country are the Cliffs of Moher. Almost like the Cliffs of Dover but without the white colour. The fact that this is a must see is kind of a mixed blessing in that the views are spectacular but it also attracts every tourist around for hundreds of miles. Essentially, the whole place has been ‘developed’ into one big tourist trap. The €4 just to park was a huge disappointment, but what can you do. Another dead giveaway that this was a place for tourists was the dozen or so busking musicians every fifty paces or so and a few stalls selling tacky Irish souvenirs. It took me a while to block out the tourist feel of the place before I could truly appreciate the awe-inspiring views of the cliffs. As we wandered around along the rim of one of the ridges, we noticed a few people had wandered over the guardrails and down onto some exceedingly precarious looking ledges below us. They would certainly not have been able to see the huge cracks in the ledge from their perspective and I doubt they would have went down there if they could have.

Having seen the famous Cliffs of Moher, we drove on a little farther into a town (well, more a collection of houses really) called Doolin. The guidebook raves about this intimate little place as a stronghold for traditional Irish music so we moored up in one of the two camp-sites in the area. The camp-site is actually one of the bets we’ve been to and we immediately struck up a conversation with an older Welsh couple in the camper-van next to us. Being on the far west coast of Ireland, we wandered along the rocky shore for a while. The views of the rocky west coast and the Cliffs of Moher just up the shoreline make for one of the best that we’ve seen anywhere in Ireland.

We took advantage of the washing machines in the ablutions block and subsequently hung everything out to dry on a line strung between the brick and a nearby lamppost. Sandy broke out the sewing machine that she’d brought along to repair some clothes and I wandered off down the shore to admire the sunset.

This evening, we went down into town. I call it a town somewhat euphemistically since there is only one pub. We made it to the pub just in time to order a meal before the kitchen closed and remained there for an hour or so listening to the three musicians playing a variety of traditional Irish music on various instruments. The pub was absolutely packed and it was a nice atmosphere but we returned back to the camp-site after half dozen or so melodies. Much like a lot of other travellers that we’ve met whom are travelling around the country, we always seem to find ourselves just too tired at the end of the evening to stay and enjoy the music for very long.