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Post Info TOPIC: Trip to Ballinrobe, Co Mayo


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Trip to Ballinrobe, Co Mayo

Hey Everyone, 

My long awaited, but short trip has finally happened.  Thanks for all the advice in the other forum.  A lot of information I found to be right on and others it was different only because everyone experiences travel a little bit differently, and handles their trip differently.  Just wanted to make that known.

My trip took me from Little Rock Arkansas to Ballinrobe, Ireland Co. Mayo area just to give you a pin point of where I was going through my little Explanation here.

I flew into Shannon Airport about 15 minutes earlier than expect which was nice.  I flew on American Airlines Flight 92 that stops in Dublin from Chicago, then goes into Shannon which is only a 30 minute flight.  I immediately raced to the Ireland Immigration, got my Passport Stamped and headed for baggage handling and got my luggage. Once I got my luggage I had a choice between Green (no declaration) and Red (Something to declare).  I headed to the green expecting to be greeted by agent and all it was, was a door leading into the terminal!  I was surprised.  My worry about carrying my boxes of Reese’s and Butter Finger were over.  I headed over to my car rental people called DAN DOOLEY, got my paperwork and keys and headed to the shuttle where they took me to get my vehicle.  The gentleman driving the shuttle was very nice, he got my vehicle, asked me where I was going and made sure that I knew how to get there by showing me on the map that was supplied by Dan Dooley versus the directions I had with from my friend. He also gave me some hints on how to take on my first roundabout (Helped me get a visual on what to expect I might say).  Then he was off.  I stood there looking at the vehicle I was going to be driving, and remembered, I better look around.  Good thing I did, there were big chips in front of vehicle, so I made sure that they were noted by the people who clean the vehicles.

So off I went.  Made my first roundabout, hit the curve once, and that was the last time I did that.  It was a new experience to be driving on the left side from the right side.  I got focused and headed up the N19 to N18, looking for highway, but found out that there are no highways per say on the side of Ireland I was on, just roads. It was a nice drive going through the towns and villages.  So much to look at, but little time to stop because I had to be in Ballinrobe by 2 PM and I was looking at a 85 mile ride north! A long the trip up I had to make two transitions.  One was in Galway to N6 from N18, then from N6 to N84 which takes me to Ballinrobe Via Castlebar.  The only thing that tripped me up was that N84 was not very well marked to let you know that you were still on N84, so I made about two stops to ask people if I was still on track.  The people at each stop were very nice and very helpful, so no need to worry about unfriendly people.


I got to Ballinrobe right about 2;15 PM and pulled into SUPER MAC’s, which is Ireland’s version of McDonalds.  This is where I was met up with my friend and her family.  I also met Joan the manager there at Super Macs.  She was fascinating to talk to.  Over the days, I must have visited there 3 times and each time she came out from behind the counter just to see what I have done so far and give advice on what to do next.  If you are ever in Ballinrobe,  visit Super Macs and ask for Joan, tell her I sent ya…LOL…she is a riot.

The rest of the time it rained most of the time I was there.  I went to see Ashford Castle which was closed due to Private parties, then I drove through CONG.  One day I went to CastleBar and visited a hospital.  My friend had a doctors appointment, so what a chance to see how the Irish Hospital looks from the inside without me being sick. 

The day before I left, we went to Galway and went shopping.  What a town.  Christmas in the Mall area was absolutely Gorgeous. The strip was just like Main Street of Disney Land the was everything was set up.  Inside the mall was just like Disneyland as well the way the stone walls were set up.  My friend’s kid wanted to visit Santa, so we did that and the nice thing is they actually hand out presents instead of teeth rottening candy.  Clothes stores are plentiful and a good portion of everything you buy is made in Ireland, so you know you are buying good stuff.  This is also the best place to get Gifts as far as Souvenirs and all.  I made sure I asked for TAX BACK slips, so I can get some money back.  At the end I got back about $18.00.

My flight out on December 3rd Ireland experienced the worst winds they ever had since 1989 according to locals at Shannon.  Flights were able to take off, but landing was out.  So I got sent to Aer Lingus, only to sit on flight line for two hours, then we flew to Dublin only to sit for 3 hours while we waited for clearance and transition of more patrons, about 200 more to be exact.  The people I was on the plane with were super nice and we had a great time making up for the worst time.  When we were joined by the other 200 people, the people in our section were comparing notes on what was going on, and had a great time the rest of the flight.  It was one big party. 


Overall, I had a great time, had one visit to the PUB to try Guinness which was good and I want to go back during the spring or summer based on what people were telling me.  Again thanks for all the advice, I can now help others with what I experienced.  Dan Dooley Rental Car was great and they don’t charge you card the deductable like other Car rentals do.  If you go through Dan Dooley, take the extra insurance, it covers everything, and your deuctable would be only 100 Euros if there is a problem.  Also be prepared to pay for Petro, about 50 Euros, you can return the vehicle on empty and not have anymore charges. 


Any questions let me know!!


Les Anderson    




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Welcome home! It sounds like you had a grand time! Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Hopefully you can make it a longer trip when you return in spring or summer season.

Slan Go Foill,

Bit Devine

Cowboy Craic



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Posts: 10694


Welcome back! Thanks for stopping by to post your trip report. You are right, everyone travels differently. One person's tips won't work for everyone so you have to sort through the tips to find the ones that fit your circumstances.

Did you stay at any memorable B&Bs? Can you refresh our memories of where your photos are stashed?

I'm glad you made it safely home despite the delays. I hope you get to return again.



"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.

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