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Post Info TOPIC: First Voyage to the Old Sod---Part Two

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First Voyage to the Old Sod---Part Two

Day 4--Sat Oct 13. This day took us from Killarney down the N71 to Kenmare. There was much to photograph--the Torc waterfall, the scenic overlooks, Kenmare town itself. After a pint at the Atlantic Bar and a little souvenir shopping, we took a boat cruise on Lough Leane and photographed Inisfallen. Back to Killarney for lamb dinner at the Caragh restaurant and Irish coffee for dessert at Danny Mann's.

Day5--Sun Oct 14. Big travel day. Took the N22 from Killarney to Blarney. Blarney castle was beautiful, although we didn't do any rock kissing. From there (N20 to N8 to N25) to Midleton to tour the distillery. We seemed to be very lucky this trip as far as traffic was concerned, we didn't get tangled in the infamous Cork snarl-up, probably being Sunday morning having something to do with it. The distillery was a nice slice of history+science, my brother and I were two of the designated whiskey tasters. From Midleton we took the N25 back to the N8 and north to Cashel. One nice surprise was finding that part of the N8 is now the M8 and you can do 120kph on it! The Irish have a huge job on their hands, trying to expand their infrastructure to accommodate the influx of tourism and the modernization that affluence brings with it. I think they are doing a great job--they just have a long way to go. Cashel we found to be a nice little town, the Rock is definitely the premier attraction. We stayed in a town house at the foot of the Rock called the Ladyswell. To our surprise, we heard no traffic noise all night--again being Sunday night in the off-season probably helped.

Day 6---Mon Oct15. Left Cashel on the N74 to Tipperary. Very slow going as it seemed to be a main route for farm equipment. We moved along better on the N24 from Tipperary to Limerick; Limerick itself didn't cause much delay, again our timing was good ( a person could get really held up if it wasn't). Caught the N18 in Limerick took it to Ennis, then the N85/R476 to Dysert O'Dea. Both the castle and the church were wonderful--one of the big highlights of the trip. Then up to Corofin only to find the Clare heritage center was closed! Back to Ennis to catch the N18 to Oranmore and the N6 to Galway. Since our B&B was on the west end of Salthill, we had to cross the entire city to get there--it was a bit daunting. There aren't many street signs in Galway--or in all Ireland, for that matter--but the roundabouts are named and signed and this was a lifesaver for us newbies. We stayed at Achill Lodge on Cashelmara Road, nice place, good view, handy for catching the R336 to Connemara. After a well earned pint at Lohan's and an amazing Italian dinner at Roberto's, we watched the sun go down over Galway Bay.

Day7--Tue Oct16. The Connemara Tour. R336 to Maam Cross, N59 to Clifden.
The Connemara scenery was just as wonderful as advertised, photos galore. Clifden was a bit of a disappointment--nothing wrong with it, just not what I expected. From there to the National Park, we could have spent weeks walking through and not done it justice. Then to Kylemore Abbey--just amazing. The little chapel farther in past the abbey was the highlight for me, the way the sunlight streamed in the windows you felt like you were bathing in some impressionist's dream. One thing I should mention, speaking of miracles. Of the twelve days we spent here on the Old Sod, it rained only once--on the drive from Cashel to Limerick. At least half of the days we enjoyed beautiful sunlight that made even my poor photographs into masterpieces.  More Anon. WC



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I am really enjoying your report. I can't believe your good luck with the weather. I'm off to read your next part.



"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

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