Wandering in Ireland

Trip Start Dec 16, 2001
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Friday, June 25, 2004

Limerick, a.k.a Stab City!

Another driving trip in Ireland. My car in the UK is a Peugeot 206 2L GTI, my hire car this week was also a 206, but a 1.6L slug...but then Irish roads don't really lend themselves to acceleration!

There is not a lot for a tourist in Limerick. It was just a stop over to meet up with Leanne and then head down to county Cork. A few relaxing days of meandering through the countryside from Killarney down to Bandon. We stayed at Leanne's grandmother's house and I didn't get away without being over-fed! :) Food was great so no complaints here! It's a beautiful part of the world and worth a revisit.

We drove back up to Limerick and then I headed on my own off to the western coast. The first stop was the Cliffs of Moher, a relatively well known tourist spot, there's a large carpark for the coaches. But there's hardly a soul to be seen early on a Monday morning. My ears were on fire by the time I got down off the cliff, it was either the cold gale force wind or someone had a lot to say about me! Onwards to the north is a great winding drive along the coast and into the Burren, an area of barren stone landscape. Try to picture an entire region of stone paving, broken only by hills of more stone. There are some caves to visit as well (Aillwee) but they are a bit melodramatic, sequenced light show and a general push to keep you moving. There's a great view obtained by hiking up the hills behind the cave.

The last trip I tried to get to Connemara but we had to take a detour along the way....and it happened again! After a few wrong turns in Galway I decided to give it up and stay there the night. Met Linds and Cal at the hostel and then out to the pub, it seems wrong not to go to a pub in Ireland! The pub was great, a couple of live bands complete with fiddler. It was a good night to have gotten lost!

From Galway across to Trim Castle and then on to Kilkenny Castle. I think that is enough castles now!

Dingle penisula is suppsoed to rival the Ring of Kerry for it s natural beauty. Dingle itself is a bustling little town and home to Fungi the dolphin. Fungi is the local dolphin bachelor and draws a lot of attention from the boats. I managed to get myself into a wetsuit with the aim of going snorkelling with him, but alas the currents were horrendous when we got out into the bay and so had to pull the plug on that plan. Marion and I then embarked on a trip around the peninsula. The trip around the coast road takes about a day. Just leave the Collie dog on the beach alone, he's not very friendly!! We left him to howl at the waves.

Back to see Leanne again in Limerick and a plan to go see Bunratty Castle for their theme day celebration....but no....instead we end up helping the garda catch a Collie that apparently developed a taste for small children. Anyone seeing a trend here...?

Is that man watching me? What is that buzzing in my phone, could it be a wire tap? Will my identity be erased and I just disappear? I am being stalked! Ramblings of a paranoid?? I have a theory that President Bush is stalking me! I went to Rome a few weeks ago and Bush arrived a few days later, apparently for the Republic Day march. The Sunday that I arrived back in Portsmouth (UK) and he was here! The excuse this time...going from the naval base across to the D-Day remembrance. Just a coincidence I hear you say.... I landed at Shannon airport on this trip and a few hours later Airforce 1 arrived! There were 6000 police(garda) and security forces to protect Bush from TERRORISTS, BOMBS, ASSASINATION..... a few keywords that should bring my humble little travelogue a few more hits from a mysterious government agency (if you believe in conspriracy theories). Lets face it though, putting keywords SEX and PORN is far more likely to get the visitors! ...what was that noise?!

I should finish by clarifying my opening! Its only really dangerous if you stay in a particular area and happen to be involved in the local feuds! There was no problems going out.
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