Cliffs of Moher and on to Galway - Just For The Craic - CycleBlaze

August 10, 2009

Cliffs of Moher and on to Galway

There's a strong wind blowing and rain is coming down in the morning... not a downpour, but enough drizzle to get a cyclist wet pretty quick. 

We leave the pub after breakfast and go next door to a posh-looking hotel where the kind staff let us use their wi-fi for free while we wait for the weather to improve. We'd stay a night if they had a room going, but the place is full: Debbie is still feeling less than 100 percent right after her fall. 

Somewhat reluctantly, by mid-morning we're cycling slowly uphill towards the Cliffs of Moher under a leaden sky, the wind in our faces.

The iconic cliffs are a major tourist draw and there's a huge parking area nearby, up ahead to our right. Before reaching it we turn left into the visitor centre, using the unmanned bus access and therefore don't have to pay a penny. No guilty feeling. This is a natural feature and so it seems rather odd to have to pay to see it. It's just a license to print money.

Our bikes get locked outside the large information centre-cum-gift-shop-cafe and we stroll with the multinational crowd towards the cliffs. 

There are one or two buskers around. 

We  gaze down at the crashing Atlantic. This place is special and rugged and romantic, but there's a feeling that the cliffs we saw a couple of days ago in the South, where we had the place virtually to ourselves, are better. Well... just less crowded and commercialized. 

Cliffs of Moher
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After walking along the footpath hugging the precipitous edge, we return to our bikes and begin riding further northwards.

It's not long before we're riding past the Burren. It would be good to explore its barren and bleak terrain, but there're clouds sweeping low and rain seems to be on the way; the Burren isn't a place to be on a rainy day. And with Debbie not quite right, we stick to the coastal road, which is quieter than I'd imagined it would be.

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Suddenly rays of sunshine appear, but they don't last long. That's Ireland for you. When we get to the junction town of Ballyvaghan, it drizzles again.

We sit inside a pub and have a pot of tea and some chunky vegetable soup after getting bus timetable details from the tourism office. There's one up to Galway in a couple of hours. 

Debbie buys a couple of linen teatowels from the giftshop. She's not sure if she'll keep them our present them to friends back in Taiwan. All the Aran wool sweaters are too big for her, as per usual.

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Once on board the bus, the Burren looks splendid with sunshine lighting up its rounded peaks. We could have ridden the leg to Kinvarra - the N67 isn't really busy, not like we thought it'd be. 

Shame, that.

Today's ride: 60 km (37 miles)
Total: 552 km (343 miles)

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