Trip date: September 2019
After 3 nights in Dingle it was time to get back out on the road. I had a great mini full-Irish breakfast in the Dingle Benners Hotel before checking out and getting back on the Wild Atlantic Way. It had been nice to have a few days without driving especially as this day was going to be a big one.
By the time I got to Galway I'd have driven 145 windy North Atlantic Ocean hugging miles. Not really that far but with my planned stops it would take over 7 hours. You can drive directly from Dingle to Galway in about 3 hours, but what fun is that? Also I would be stopping at the Cliffs of Moher and was very excited!
I left Dingle and headed to Tarbet where I queued up for the car ferry across to Quilty. As I got out of my car to take some pictures of the approaching ferry a man told me about the old lighthouse that can only be seen if you head out to the very end of the dock; he assured me I had time before boarding and I did.
It's a quick ferry crossing and the weather was dry but it still took about 3 hours to get to Quilty. I stopped for lunch at Cooney's Pub and had an excellent seafood chowder and small beer.
In 30 minutes I was at the famous Cliffs of Moher. It was strange driving up and into the large parking lot, you can't see the ocean or any part of the cliffs. But then you follow the walkway and bam!
Even in the cloudy weather the cliffs are dramatic and beautiful! I spent some time walking both sides of the semicircle, taking in the views. As with any tourist site I also saw people being totally crazy, like this wedding couple who let their photographer perch them on the edge for a dramatic shot!
The people you can see in the above photo, far in the distance, are hiking a "forbidden" trail that is crumbling down the cliffs. I even saw people scoot themselves down the cliffs a bit for a better picture! I stuck to the paved trail!
On the way out I stopped into the visitor's center and had a quick look at the exhibitions on the way out. It had started to rain so my timing was good! There's no charge to visit the cliffs or the center but you do pay a couple of Euro to park your car.
I had another 45 minute drive until I arrived in Burren. Multiple friends had recommended the Burren Smokehouse for delicious smoked salmon and cheese, and they were spot on! I was lucky that I got there right before closing.
It was getting late now and I still had almost an hour before arriving in Galway. But when I passed gorgeous ruins like the Muckinish Tower House I just had to stop for a few photos.
**As I visited all of these places before the COVID-19 pandemic, please double check on opening hours. And fingers crossed these businesses all stay in business!**
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