Day 5: The Burren & County Clare

Day 5 - 110km
Day 5 - 110km
St. Brigid's Well
St. Brigid's Well
O'Brian Monument
O'Brian Monument
Liscannor
Liscannor
Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher
Debbie & Bryan at the Cliffs
Debbie & Bryan at the Cliffs
o'Brians Tower
o'Brians Tower
Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher
Clever, the "Gifts" of Moher
Clever, the "Gifts" of Moher
Take Notice
Take Notice
Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher
Doonagore Castle
Doonagore Castle
Doonagore Castle
Doonagore Castle
O'Connors Pub in Doolin
O'Connors Pub in Doolin
The GPS said it was a road...I thought it was someones driveway
The GPS said it was a road...I thought it was someones driveway
County Clare from Corkscrew Hill
County Clare from Corkscrew Hill
County Clare
County Clare
Say Cheese
Say Cheese
Poulnabrone Info
Poulnabrone Info
Poulnabrone
Poulnabrone
Poulnabrone, mind your ankels
Poulnabrone, mind your ankels
Poulnabrone
Poulnabrone
Poulnabrone
Poulnabrone
Poulnabrone
Poulnabrone
corkscrew hill, county clare
corkscrew hill, county clare

We woke on Friday to our first morning in Ennis. I do love this little town, it has all of the charm you would expect and not overly touristy. We had breakfast at the Old Ground Hotel, and took a stroll down O'Connell Street to the County Clare Museum. They have a wonderful collection of artifacts and historical pieces relating to this region. It only takes about an hour to go through the museum, and being free of charge, it is well worth the time. We packed up the car and ventured out with the Cliffs of Moher as our waypoint. Along the way, just outside of Liscannor we stopped at St. Brigid's Well, a holy shrine of sorts, to pray for healing for yourself or others. There are beautiful views of Liscannor in the valley below worth stopping to see. We then proceeded on to the Cliffs of Moher visitor center. The whole visitor center experience has really expanded over the past seven years, and you can easily spend several hours learning about the unique geography of this region. Outside, the Cliffs of Moher are still as impressive as ever. You do have to do a bit of walking to get to the good vantage points, but on a nice day it is a treat. We said farewell to the Cliffs and proceeded to Doolin for lunch. This is a quiet little seaside town just past the Cliffs. I recommend O'Connors Pub, it is rustic and has no table side service, but the food was delicious and the fire was nice to warm up next to. We next headed north to Ailwee Caves near Ballyvaughan. Described as 'Irelands Premier Show Cave" it is a nice leisurely walk deep into the side of a mountain where stalactites can be found in abundance, as well as an underground waterfall. On the same property is bird of prey sanctuary and more importantly, the Burren Cheese shop. After loading up on cheese and other goodies, we headed south into the odd landscape of the Burren region. We stopped at the Poulnabrone Portal Tomb (you know the one, it's on every calendar of Ireland ever made) while heading south. The last time we drove this route, the office of public works was in the process of putting in a parking area and information placards, so it was not easy to get to. This time we were able to stop and take in the site. I think more impressive then the actual portal tomb was the actual landscape of the Burren that you walk over to get to it. Again, another great day of weather allowed us to really appreciate the landscape and this megalithic site. Once again, the sun started to hang low, so we proceeded back to Ennis for dinner at the Poets Corner, followed by live traditional music at the same location. We were in bed by a reasonable time as my ambitious tour schedule was starting to catch up with the group.