The Perils of Traveling Alone

It was bound to happen.  I fell today.  But, before we get to that, I had a glorious day all the way around.  The day dawned with the sun shining.  It was frosty, but blue skies.  I decided to hit the road for Loop Head.  I left around 10am, and started in Lahinch, a surfing town about an hour from me.  The day was gorgeous!  No wind, no rain, and blue skies.  

I continued South along the Wild Atlantic Way, final destination to be Loop Head, at the end of the peninsula.  I stopped in Doughmore Bay to take some pics, and ended up finding Trump International Golf Links & Hotel, which was kind of cool.  It's weird to have been driving through snow on Thursday and now I'm picking up seashells on Sunday.  But Ireland is like that!  I found two swans in a tide pool behind the reef, so I clambered over the rocks and through the water to get a better pic.  My Bogs boots are awesome, except for on slippery rocks.

I continued on my journey South, stopping at the Kilkee Cliffs.  If you are in Ireland, and driving to Loop Head, do yourself a favor and take the Wild Atlantic Way to these cliffs.  Not as high as the Cliffs of Moher, but dramatic still.  And hardly anyone was there.  I climbed up to the edge, at one point, laid on my stomach in the grass and took some shots of the water below.  It was pretty damn cool.

And then I decided to take the next detour, to the Bridges of Ross.  Gorgeous little cove, and again, no one there.  Well, at least not anyone that I saw.  I took some shots from above, saw that there was a way to get down, and took it.  I went across the rocks to get some shots of a group of puffins, or at least what I thought were puffins, nestled out on the rocks.  I was hurrying back, not paying attention to my footing, and whoops!  Down I go.  My right side, from my hip down, totally soaked in green slime.  Somehow I did not break my camera, nor did I fall in the ocean.  I had a slight moment of panic when I realized if I tried to get up I would fall down again, but, then I simply rolled back over to where the rocks were dry and got up.  There was a slim chance I could have ended up in the ocean, but I wasn't that close.  Luckily.  I think I slipped on the first wet spot right before the big green slime area in the pic, to the left.  And I was up closer to the cliff line, so not near the surf.  Thank goodness nothing happened, and I had an extra, clean sweater in the car.  Unfortunately I had to suffer in my wet jeans, but I had a base layer on so I was okay.

So for the rest of the day I was fairly careful about where I was going.  I went up to Loop Head, saw the lighthouse, and then walked down to the ocean, but stayed well away from the edge of the cliffs there.  In the distance, across the water you can see the Dingle Peninsula, and part of the Ring of Kerry, I believe.  

On my way back home, I stopped for a cup of tea at the Lighthouse Inn.  It was about 4:30, and a couple of old Irish guys were in the pub with pints of Beamish, drunk as skunks singing ballads with no accompaniment.  Another older gentleman came in and sat at the end of the bar with me and was making comments about how ridiculous they were being.  All I could do to not break out in laughter.  This was in the village of Kilbaha. 

And then I found something really interesting.  I noticed some sort of big anchor memorial just down from the Inn, so I went and checked it out.  It was a tribute to 5 men who died out in the bay, but also, the anchor came from a ship that sailed from Portland, Oregon to Limerick in 1906. The boat wrecked in the bay also, but apparently everyone on the ship made it to shore.  It was called the "Morven Disaster".  Super cool.  I could see myself coming back and spending some time in this tiny village, or really any of the towns I visited today.  

I got back to the cottage with no incident.  Now I've just drank another large mug of tea so I can stay up and Skype with the fam for the SUPERBOWL!!!! GOOOOOOOOO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!