Tuesday 13 October
Doolin – cliffs of Moher
Well it has been over a week now since we left Southampton!
After a great Chinese supper with Sarah Jon and Evie we spent our first night at Minto Rd Bristol – a road on the edge of an industrial estate where camper vans camp some complete with wood burning stoves – nice peaceful night parked on double yellow lines and waking to the sound of people going to work and parents walking children to school. A weird first time experience of camping wild .
Then an uneventful drive through Wales to Ffald y Brenin an amazing retreat centre perched on a hillside with incredible stories of healings and outpourings of the Holy Spirit. Joined in their lunchtime and evening prayers and were given a word from a guy in the coffee room about being like Joshua and Caleb going to spy out a new country and although we think we are not up to it assuring us that we can because God is with us. Interesting since he knew absolutely nothing about our plans to check out Ireland. …..
Then a hairy drive through very narrow windy lanes in the dark to get to the ferry glad Colin was driving!! Arrived in time for a few hours sleep before the ferry left at 1.45 –
an unbelievably smooth crossing despite warnings of stormy weather – slept well on seats in the restaurant and woke to the smell of bacon and a misty Rosslare.
Grey drive to a mountain stop for breakfast – I carefully navigated the van up a narrow single track road ( Colin had to manoeuvre a 3 point turn to get us out) all part of the adventure Colin
Arrived in Kilmallock mid afternoon and stopped in the town by the side of the road for soup and cheese sandwiches ….watching parents collect their children from school. Arrived at Maggies house early evening …
We then spent several days with the family during the evenings spending the days touring around the area – walking and cycling and enjoying beautiful unexpected sunshine and the fantastic mountain scenery. Loved Loch Gur a prehistoric site where we met with Cyril and Gabrielle and experimented with our first tea and scone session in the camper with our China cups and saucers.
In the evening we went to see a play called Sive at a tiny theatre in Charlevillle – a rather disturbing drama set in Ireland in the 50’s about an illegitimate girl whose family marry her off to an aged man because of poverty.
Sunday morning we drove to Adare – a picturesque town (where everyone seems to go on a Sunday!!) to watch Tadhg play in his first county football game – great to have a chance to support our nephew – sport is a very central part of rural Irish life.
Monday morning time to depart and leave for our Irish tour – heading for the Wild Atlantic Way via Charleville for a coffee at the Four Winds – a pub managed by Tommy our eldest nephew.
Then off to the Cliffs of Moher 14km of 700ft cliffs – parked up and enjoyed a stunning cliff top walk and then drove off to Doolin to camp next to a small river (in the dark) . Could have been anywhere really!
Woke up to the most beautiful sunshine again – and enjoyed walking on the limestone pavements on the edge of the Atlantic followed by a boat trip along the bottom of the cliffs as the sun was setting – majestic awesome – an exhilarating experience – shame the puffins have left. Beautiful day finished off with Guinness and Irish guitar player in the pub.