Monday, March 24
Today we drove to the Cliffs of Moher after a fantastic breakfast at the Pax House B&B. The owner John even made us special birthday “cake” complete with candle. (I’ll send a picture later). A slightly dreary morning, we toured the town and headed off to Moher. Somebody had chocolate for breakfast and made the group stop in a off route town. Here we ate at a cafe and met a very talkative Irishman who warns us of breezes blowing us off the cliffs. During a drizzle we head to Moher which turns in to a downpour and heavy winds.
We wake up to dreary, drizzly day – Not much chance we’ll be spotting Fungie today. We go up to breakfast and inspect the continental breakfast options. Hot pears, hot spiced peaches, hot rhubarb, cereal, yogurt, honey, scones and much more. We found ourselves a table and waitress came over with menus. (As if the continental breakfast wasn’t enough!) Julie and Cessy ordered the smoked salmon with potatoes (some form of hashbrown). I decided to play it safe and ordered pancakes. These dishes came out elaborately decorated and tasted even better. The pancakes came with fresh raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries sprinkled with powdered sugar. While we waited for the “main course” the buffet table was replenished with bread and parfait cups. Cessy tried the parfait and said the bottom had something bitter and the skins of some fruit in it. As if her word wasn’t good enough (they looked delicious) I decided to try one as well. The yogurt was plain so no sugar there, and the red bottom layer tasted like it had grapefruit skins or something in it. Yuk! Bitter! Next time, trust Cessy’s assessment. While we were sipping the remainder of the tea, our plates were cleared and John came out with three birthday “cakes” to help us celebrate our 30th. Wow, we did not expect this extra special gesture. the plates had fruit, a little mirange, and a candle. There was a family with two younger children who had just finished breakfast, were still around. Cessy let the older boy blow out her candle. One puff and it was out. I let the younger girl blow out my candle. She had a bit more trouble. After blowing and spitting, it was put out. Right before we left, John gave us all birthday cards. He went the extra mile to ensure guests have a pleasant memorable experience. Since our only planned stop for the day was the Cliffs of Moher, we drove into town and visited several shops and Murpheys Icecream, which is handmade in Dingle. Their slogan – Icecream that Knows Where It’s Coming From. (Ireland is very big on food traceabilty) One flavor was sea salt. It used salt taken from the sea. Towards the end of the tour around town, the wind picked up and the rain started falling. Time to head for the Cliffs of Moher.
Due to the location of the Dingle Peninsula and the Cliffs of Moher, it takes just as long to travel from Dingle to the Cliffs as it does from Leixlip to Dingle! Someone at chocolate before breakfast and then chocolate icecream during the tour around town. The trip was halted at a small off route town to get a bit of “fresh air”. The only cafe that seemed to be open had an overwhelming smell of fried fish as soon as we opened the door. A local said it was the best place to eat so we took their word for it and stayed. Julie ordered mushroom soup – which tasted like mushrooms and Cessy ordered a fish meal. I ate their fries – I mean chips. Shortly after we arrived, an Irish gentleman walked in and started talking. (I don’t think he paused for a breath the entire time he was in the cafe). We thought he was the owner, but apparently he was just a regular. He was very well traveled and was familiar with CA and the east coast. (We never knew when he was telling the truth and when he was joking.) He told us to watch out for the wind at the Cliffs of Moher. It could blow a person right of the edge. Since the cafe owner agreed with him, we decided there must be a bit of truth in his statement. He was quite adamant about the wind strength.
The stomach has settled and we drive on to the Cliffs as the wind and rain increase strength. A heavy fog, steady rain, and strong winds great us at the Cliffs. Due to the weather conditions, not many people are milling about. As we get closer to the cliffs, we realize there was much truth in the Irish man’s words. These winds could have blown us off the edge. I’m very thankful for the slate slabs that are bordering the edge. The gusts of wind were so strong it could have easily knocked a body over if caught off guard or mid step. One section of the cliff even had an upside down waterfall. Due to the wind the solitary tower was locked and barred. Probably a good thing as one could not see anything anyway.
Drenched to the bone we head on to Doolin 10 minutes away. The town looked a bit skeptical, but the B&B was really nice. We parked across the road and made a mad dash with our luggage for the inn. The lady was very pleasant and showed us to our rooms. We changed and hung our soaking clothes over every available radiator and hanger. We even used the radiaotor in the hallway. We appeared to be the only guests staying at the B&B. Fortunately dinner was a short walk back towards town. The rain had stopped for our trek to supper. The food was delicious. We listened to a bit of live music and headed back to the room for dum, dum, dum SURGERY! One member of our party had gotten a bit of plant stuck in her hand at the Ring of Kerry, another member held the flashlight, and the remaining member got to perform the extraction. (hee, hee, hee) After three attempts, a bit of soaking, and watching Frozen, the miscreant plant was removed.
Tomorrow we are headed back to Leixlip and babysitting!