I just got e-mail that the video I made of part of a session at McGann’s Pub is ready on YouTube. So, here it is.
Today was a travel day. I was up early to catch the bus to Galway, and then the train to Dublin, another train to Mallow, a third train to Killarney, then a cab to Larkinley Lodge. Now, I found out that Larkinley Lodge was within easy walking distance, but my iPhone had drained its battery while I was reading on the bus and trains, and couldn’t use the GPS to find the place. Now I know how to walk from the Lodge to the station, so that’s fine.
But really what that means is that I don’t have a lot of pictures today. Here are a few little things.
I went for a nice walk around Killarney, found the pub – The Laurels – that they recommended at the B&B, and also found the place to meet for my tour tomorrow.
So, tour tomorrow. More pictures then.
Today is my last day in Doolin. I took Tony’s advice from yesterday, and didn’t take the Cliff Walk tour. Instead, I slept in a bit, had a leisurely breakfast, and walked by the tourism information office and picked up a walking map of the area. Thus armed, I went for a walk around the area.
So, after walking about six miles or so through the hills, I realized I probably could have managed the cliff walk tour. But I saw a whole bunch of cool stuff, and had a good time.
It was an overcast day, but warm, with no breeze. Given the high humidity, I was very hot and sweaty after the walk, so I stopped to have lunch and a drink at O’Connor’s pub, then walked back to McGann’s to shower and rest for a bit. Eventually, I went down for supper at McGann’s, and to wait for the music to start. It was going to be an early session, and thus it was sort of empty for the first little bit.
I’m working on uploading a short video of one of the tunes. Look for a post about that in the next hour or so.
Back in the pub again tonight. I didn’t get such a good seat tonight, as it was pretty crowded when I came in. I wound up sitting around a corner from the bar at a little shelf. But Ernst, one of the nice Germans I met last night, spotted me, and told me to come sit with him and Ilona at the same table we had the previous night.
And then the folks at the next table to us left just as the music was about to start, so we moved over one.
This. This is everything I was hoping for when I decided to stay in Doolin. And I have one more day and one more night here. I’m looking forward to them, but I’ve already won at my vacation.
Good night, everyone.
I took today pretty easy. I arranged a taxi ride with Doolin Taxi to pick me up around ten, which would get me to my tour of the cave around eleven. So, I got to sleep in a little, and sit in the sun outside McGann’s for a while waiting for the taxi.
I had a nice chat with a couple of other gentlemen staying here at the pub. They were both very friendly and welcoming. One of them was the fellow who played harmonica at last night’s session, and he explained to me that he and his son, through extensive research, had recovered John Wilkins’s secret technique of perpetual motion. He had the whole thing worked out, he says, he only needs to build it.
The cab that showed up was driven by Tony McGann, former owner of McGann’s Pub, and I got a real taste of rural Ireland, as he stopped to talk to everyone, gossip with everyone, and generally just work his way through the social niceties with everyone we met. Not that I’m complaining – far from it, it was awesome. As I say, it was a real taste of authentic rural Irish life.
The drive out to Doolin Cave was fun and entertaining, the conversation with Tony was fascinating, and I enjoyed it immensely. He dropped me off, gave me his card, and said that I could pay him when he came to pick me up.
This cave is obviously a lot smaller than Marble Arch Caves, and not as developed, but that stalactite is something to see. We all had to wear hardhats, and the ceilings were so low that even someone as short as me had to bend over through long stretches of the cave. Gotta say, the fourth or fifth time I scraped my hardhat against the ceiling, I was really glad to have it.
I don’t know why I never think about how much of a climb it is to get out of these caves. 152 steps at Marble Arch, 125 here at Doolin Cave, and they are always steep and usually slippery. By the time I get to the top, I’m wiped out.
So, I took a bit of a rest in the cafe there, and had a nice chicken panini, then took a walk along the nature trail. It gave me some nice views of the castle, and had some nice stone gardens along the way.
So, after the walk, I called for Tony to come and pick me up. It was another good ride, and Tony gave me some good advice for my cliff walk tomorrow. He explained how long the walk is, and how rough it can be, so he advised me to rethink going with the tour, and just follow the trail on my own, turning back when I’m tired. That’s what I think I’m going to do.
Tonight, though, I’m going back down to the pub for dinner and music.
Quick update before I turn in.
My plan worked, and I had a nice meal at McGann’s and staked out a good seat for when the music started. It was a good evening.
Okay. Now I have to explain a Hen Party.
Hen Parties are the Irish1 version of a bachelorette party. The bride-to-be’s friends pick some sort of costume theme, and go out to party on the town. We had one of those show up and basically take over the pub, singing their own version of The Green and Red of Mayo, forming a conga line, doing some step dancing, and pelting the musicians with special requests. They were, apparently, dressed as Father Ted’s Lovely Ladies or something – I dunno. I didn’t quite catch it, and I’ve never watched Father Ted, so it wouldn’t have helped, anyway.
Hen Parties are – I am told – usually rowdy, but in a fun, high-spirited way, and this was no exception. The German couple sharing my table commented, “The Irish really know how to celebrate something,” and I couldn’t agree more. It was a loud, fun night.
And then the musicians packed up and left, and I did the same.
Tomorrow is Doolin Cave. My tour there isn’t until 11:00, so I’m taking advantage of that to sleep in a bit.
- And possibly UK, but I’m not sure. [↩]
Today was my trip out to Inisheer and the Cliffs of Moher by ferry. In checking things out last night, I discovered that the piers where the ferries dock is about two miles from where I’m staying at McGann’s Pub. The ferry was set to sail at 10:00, and everyone was supposed to check in by 9:30, so I left McGann’s at 8:30 to walk. I made it in plenty of time, which is good.
The ride out to Inisheer was a little bit jouncy, but overall, quite nice. The temperature was decent, but there was a fierce wind coming in that cooled everything off. I was glad I had brought my windbreaker.
After lunch, it was time to get back on the ferry for the second part of the cruise. This took us to the base of the Cliffs of Moher. I visited the top last time, and thought this would be a good way to see them again.
Okay. So, we were in a smaller boat. Instead of cutting right into the waves bow-first, we were cutting across the waves, taking them on our side as we approached the Cliffs. I got pretty thoroughly splashed several times, including some times when I had my camera out. I also got dumped on my butt a couple of times. Really glad I had taken some motion-sickness tablets.
The upshot is that the pictures of the Cliffs are not as stunning as I might have hoped. Still, here you go.
And then the ferry went back to the pier. I got off and walked back to McGann’s. I wasn’t in a rush, this time, so I checked out a few shops along the way, and generally had a nice little stroll.
Now, laundry is hanging to dry, this post is done, and I’m going to go downstairs in a few minutes to have some supper and wait for the music to start. I may post something later, if something interesting happens, or I may just stay late listening to the session. I don’t have to be up as early tomorrow – my tour of the Doolin Cave doesn’t start until 11:00.
Guess I’ll have to figure out how to get there.
Short post tonight. Need to get some sleep before tomorrow. Also, nothing much new to report. I’ve spent the day traveling on the buses to get from Belfast down to Doolin. I checked out of the Old Rectory around 9:00 this morning, and got to Doolin around 8:00 this evening. So, not much to show you from the trip – pictures of bus stations aren’t all that interesting. I did manage a few pictures, though:
All the above pictures were taken with my iPad, because I was too tired to dig my real camera out of my bag at the various times. Tomorrow, when I1 take the ferry out to Inisheer, I’ll have my camera with me, and I’ll bring it into the pub for better pictures.
Bedtime, now. It’s about a two-mile walk to the ferries tomorrow, so I need to get started early.
- Hopefully – the forecast is for rain. [↩]