These are the adventures of Andy and Sally Rawnsley on their narrowboat "The Puzzler". We have been living on the boat for over nine years now and are still loving it. Our Ulster born Shih Tzu, Shannon, has grown up, and has taken over the boat! After three wonderful years in Ireland, we transported The Puzzler to The Netherlands, and spent a year there. In 2015 we went southwards, to reach the north of France by June. After glorious weather throughout the summer, we arrived in Roanne in late October, and enjoyed our winter in this friendly port. We cruised extensively in France in 2016 and 2017, returning to Roanne each winter.

Monday, 25 June 2012

13th - 14th June 2012. Road trip to The Cliffs of Moher and The Burren in County Clare.

The River Barrow still being closed to navigation, we left our narrowboat, The Puzzler, at Fisherstown, and set off by car for the Atlantic Coast. Bypassing Limerick, we drove westwards along the south side of the Shannon Estuary to Tarbert, where we caught the ferry across to Kilrush in County Clare.

We continued westwards along the north of the estuary and this was our first scenic view of the Atlantic coastline.

Andy met a goat. In the guide book it says that they are wild, but Andy soon had the taming of it!

Further on, the cliffs and also the waves were more dramatic.

On the North West coast of County Clare we came to the Cliffs of Moher. They are Ireland's most visited natural attraction and rise to 700 feet at the highest point. They range for five miles along the Atlantic coast and are really spectacular.

Along the cliff top there is a wall to stop us throwing ourselves over the edge!

At the most northerly point there is a sheer drop below us.

O'Brien's Tower was built in 1835 as a viewing point for the Cliffs of Moher, which can be seen in the background. It apparently gives the best view of the cliffs, but it was closed when we were there.

Further to the South along the clifftop, there was no wall to protect us, but Brigitte could not resist sitting close to the edge. We were glad she did not try to jump!
We stayed overnight in Lisdoonvarna, at The Rathbaun Hotel. We would recommend this hotel to anyone, especially for the evening entertainment by Ceolan. This group of four talented youngsters played and sang continuously from 8pm until midnight, and belted out all manner of Irish tunes. If we had been in Lisdoonvarna in September then we could have joined in with The Festival of Love, which is reputed to be the Largest Singles Festival in Europe. It is probably better that we will not be here then, as none of us are single, and we might have had too good a time!

 This turkey gobbled at us as we passed him the next morning.
We are now in the area known as The Burren. The word Burren means stony district, and refers to the terraced carboniferous limestone hills and valleys found here. This dry stone wall has been made using the strange shapes of the stones here.

This young donkey foal is not very old, but is awfully cute!

This portal tomb at Poulnabrone on The Burren was built in the 4th millenium BC. Archaelogical excavations have shown that at least 33 people were buried in this tomb in the Neolithic, or New Stone age.

The Karst landscape of this area seems to be very barren, although we have seen quite a few cows, on lower ground, grazing among the rocks.

We visited the Ailwee Caves, where visitors are led deep underground. Long extinct Irish bears used to hibernate here in prehistoric times. This bear was just put there to frighten us!

Our guide showed us this hollow in the rock, where bears once slept throughout the long winters. They probably had a hollow each!

Water is constantly running down this solid limestone waterfall, deep underground.

This stalactite was growing for centuries before any of us were born.
Whereas these ones have just started to grow. They are still hollow in the middle.

At one point our guide turned out all the lights to show us the absolute blackness which is found in these caves. It seemed very bright when he turned them on again.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you had a great time on your trip to the Atlantic coast with John and Brigitte. The Atlantic coast and the Cliffs of Moher are very dramatic looking.