I'm writing this 12 years after the event so its certainly not your normal sort of Blog. I do however take lots of photos and lots of notes so here goes. It was one of our last trips in the Romahome. It was our second trip to Ireland but the first time to Co. Mayo, Clare and Galway.
Swansea to Cork ferry. Actually even at the time I wondered why we came this way for the outward voyage it's a long way for the dogs on the ferry (12 hours) and it wasn't as if we were going to Kerry or Bantry. We do have a friend who lives in the Cork area who we intend to visit on the return leg so perhaps that was why I booked both ways on this route. We had a cabin for the overnight crossing, it was noisy and barely adequate. It is also strange in the following account of how much travelling we did but of course driving the Romahome was like driving a car.
Day 1 Cork Limerick Galway Knock This route has a motorway now but not in 2004. I recall this as a long day's driving and we were very pleased to get to the Caravan Club site at Knock and then down to the bottom of the village for Doreen and Lottie's first Guinness. Although July and generally sunny you can see someone wasn't taking any chances with the weather.
Day 2 Knock We decided to take it easy and just walked around the locality. Neither of us had been to a Roman Catholic shrine before and seeing some of what goes on was certainly an eyeopener. Have to say some of what was on sale was certainly tatty. Barbi dolls done up to be sold as the Virgin Mary and all those plastic wreaths for example. Fill your own Holy Water from a tap also seemed less than special. I thought it would be more spiritual but it seemed a bit commercial. We had a couple of nice walks and it wasn't really busy. Although sunny for the most part rain was never far away and we had hail and a thunderstorm later,
Holy Water and Confessions to the left
What Jake has, Lottie wants and gets
Day 3 Wednesday. Sunny all day, we headed for Achill Island and as soon as we crossed Achill sound we took a left turn and followed the coast around. One of the things that was easy to do in the uncluttered Romahome was get up, go round to the front, get into the driving seat and go somewhere for breakfast, in this case we got as far as Cloghmore at the bottom right of Achill, which, if you look at the map, is a long way to go for your breakfast.
Then after taking some more photos we carried on around the coast until we reached the steep road up to the TV mast.
This gives wonderful views over the rest of Achill Island especially Trawmore Beach. The near end is where we headed next. Nowadays Google calls the little road down to the beach 'Keel Holiday Cottages' but on my map apart from the beach there is a holy well at the end. Anyway the dogs as usual loved a beach.
Trawmore Beach Keel
There was one more place to visit, Keem, and more especially the public loos there, the above should be a picture of Keem beach but I am not certain. If I am right then, because of the way the road curls around, that also shows the view back to the tv masts. The uncertainty is because in 2004, we had one digital camera but were still shooting film, which was then digitised. These ones, now digital, had to be recovered from a backup and the order and date information has been lost. Public loos? Well our Romahome didn't have a loo. We then retraced went back to Knock varying our outward journey by going around the south of Corraun (F&G).
Day 4 Up again early this time breakfasting at L Talt which is directly north of Knock, and a lot closer than yesterday's breakfast site.
Then on through Balina to Lackan strand a wonderful wide flat estuary which we found by accident and which gives the dogs a huge space to run over when the tide is out, and it always seems to be out. (We have revisited the beach in 2007 and 2012 and it was out then as well!). It starts with a flat grassy piece where you can park on either side of a track then opens out to the beach
After we had worn the dogs out a bit we carried on anti-clockwise to Downpatrick head with its cliffs, sea stack and sink holes. Not a place to wander without care and certainly not a place to let your dogs loose.
Although now it looks a long drive that afternoon we made it to the mullet peninsula as well before returning by way of Levelly lough and this wall which place we found by accident but has since featured in our other Irish blogs.
Day 5 Friday. Off to Westport, this time stopping there for a while and then near to the coast at Louisburg. In later years Louisburg was a regular stop as our friends, Ca and Greg go to a nearby beach and we have been twice. Then we headed south down the Doolough pass and went through Cong. Lough Mask.
Day 6 A much smaller circle today
to be completed