In order that I forget as little as possible, I’ll post about day 5 first before catching up the backlog…. More photos can come separately.
Quotes of the day – “I’m just looking for a photo of myself in the toilet” – Steve “They put me in the goods lift” – Sarah “You don’t know this one do you?” – Susanna “You know what’s now at your eye level don’t you Sarah?” – Julian “I’ve asked about the shortbread” – Steve
Bravest walker of the day – Steve (after falling down some steps)
So, for the three intellectuals of Steve B, myself and Sarah, we started the day at Fanore and got the bus to Kinvarra, a journey that was a little expensive, but was otherwise smooth. One of the highlights of the journey was watching two coaches trying to pass each other on a narrow road, a more difficult challenge for the drivers than might be expected for a road as popular as the Wild Atlantic Way. We then picked up the others at Ballyvaughan and Dave as his usual excessively chatty self.
The walk today was relatively simple, a little stroll around Kinvarra looking at various parts of the history of the town. We went to see a famine graveyard, or at least what we assumed was a famine graveyard, and there are numerous buildings in the area which are now deserted. I was following a walk which had been issued by the tourist authority, but some of the route was impassable to say the least.
On the subject of that walk, I decided that I would call a halt to it when there was a bull sighted in the field. The others would have likely just walked across the field, and indeed some of the more stupid members of the group had already gone. I though made a calm decision to go back, which was certainly wise when a herd of cows came charging over. Well, more meandering over, but they looked rather vicious.
When we had escaped from the field full of killer cows we then discovered that the gate was locked. Fortunately are all nimble and agile (some of us more than others) and we managed to find an alternative route around the gate. I could have done without the climbing though if I’m being honest.
One of the other highlights of the day was Dunguaire Castle, which is apparently one of the most photographed castles in the whole of Ireland. We’re staying at the Merriman Hotel, which also has the honour of being the largest thatched roof building in Ireland (the image at the top of this post).
On the walk Steve B decided to throw himself down some steps and has grazed his arm. In his predicament I think I’d have put my arm in a sling, but Steve carried on through and so he wins today’s bravery award.
Kinvarra is a pretty fishing village and there are several pubs, and it’s the largest town that we’ve been to since Doolin. I can imagine that it’s busy during the summer months, although there were still a few tourists around at this time of year.
After a short rest in the hotel we visited four pubs, plus the hotel bar in which we’re staying, and it’s fair to say that the choices we made were full of character. There was a lot of Guinness sampled, and a fair few crisps, and we listened to the signing of a local man who is a bit of a legend in the local community. I’m not one for listening to singing in pubs, but he did have a good voice and the lyrics had some clarity.
We went to a few pubs, but my favourite was Tully’s, a quirky bar with a barman who was engaging and humorous, and a warm and comfortable atmosphere. I also discovered that in Ireland they had two lemonades, a normal one and a red one. For those in the group who were married there was an opportunity to talk about their first dance at the wedding, and there was also discussion about a hotel carpet…… But least said on that matter the better.
The meal at the Merriman was better than we had expected, I opted for chicken kiev and lemon tart, and they were perfectly acceptable and exceeded my expectations. All of the main courses were excellent, although a couple of desserts could have perhaps done with some improvement. But since mine was fine I wasn’t too worried about that.
We’re conscious that the week is starting now to draw to a close, but it was good to all be in the same accommodation for the first time this week. We more on to Oranmore tomorrow when we are again fortunately all in the same hotel. Well, hopefully, if everyone has booked it without making any errors.