Well, what a gale of a time we’ve had over the past couple of weeks. No, that’s not a typo, the gales and winds have dominated much of our activity recently. We’ve spent quite a few nights tucked away hiding from 40 and 50 mile an hour gusts, and when the tail of Hurricane Lorenzo was coming over Ireland the gusts were over 70 miles an hour.
In a house, high winds don’t usually have more much more impact than an occasional rattle on the windows, but in a motorhome, huge gusts make you feel like your just about to tip over. We found some great sheltered spots, and while they kept us off the roads for a while, the winds didn’t bother us that much. Well, apart from one night……. when we were parked high up on the side of the beautiful Killary Fjord – who knew they had Fjords in Ireland!
(click on any image to see in full resolution)
When we arrived it was a beautiful evening, not a breath of wind and we congratulated ourselves on finding a fabulous place to stop for the night overlooking the beautiful Fjord and the stunning glacial valley. It was such a lovely day we didn’t even check the forecast. Within a couple of hours, and just after dark, the winds came up again, and our motorhome was rolling on its springs in the gusts. A quick check on the forecast and we could see that once again gusts of up to 50 mile an hour were forecast. High up and exposed on the side of the fjord was definitely not the place to be tonight!
“Motorhomes are unlikely to blow over in the wind” internet advice suggests, “ Unless you’re moving, or you’re in a mountainous area where natural wind-tunnels might be formed!“ Rock or a hard place or what!
Reluctantly in the dark, we set off on the desolate mountain road again, with a 2 foot high wall separating us from the waters of the fjord 50 feet below us. It was pitch dark, pouring with rain, with the winds rocking us from side to side. We crawled along at 10 miles an hour, slightly nervous of being hit sideways by a big gust as we crept along the road,. Luckily, without incident we found ourselves a little lay-by just 3 miles down the road, but in a much safer location, where we hunkered down for the night, still in high winds but certainly feeling an awful lot safer! I don’t think we were ever really in danger but it was certainly an uncomfortable few hours.
We thought we’d got this motor-homing lark sussed, but it was a useful reminder that night not to take things for granted!
Anyway – back to our road trip and the Wild Atlantic Way. We crossed over the Shannon Estuary from Limerick into County Clare, via the fabulous little ferry at Tarbert and set off up the Cliff Coast. What a dramatic change in scenery along this coastline. Where we’d had generally low-lying routes along the coastline, we were now high up above the Atlantic Ocean, with some spectacular views out across the water and along the cliffs. Two places here deserve a special mention :
The Bridges of Ross, (images above) Phil’s favourite place on the whole journey so far, where we gazed down into a beautiful bay and watched the fantastic rock formations being battered by the relentless Atlantic waves. And one of Irelands top tourist attractions, The Cliffs of Moher – (images below) majestic cliffs that soar up to 700 feet above the sea. This place was full of coach-loads of tourists but the viewing galleries built along the edge of the cliffs, and beautifully designed visitor centre kept the whole thing very natural. Well worth the visit and 10€ parking fee!
Moving North we headed through “The Burren”, which together with the Cliffs of Moher, form the UNESCO Geopark. The scenery along this whole area blew us away, and was unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. The spectacularly bare limestone landscape has been compared to the landscape of the moon – somewhere we’ve not yet been – but can imagine why the comparison could be accurate. An amazing contrast once again to everything we’d already seen on our journey northwards along the Wild Atlantic Way.
This blog has so far brought us up to Galway, which is still less than half way up the East coast of Ireland and the Wild Atlantic Way. There’s only a couple of weeks left of our trip, so we’ve decided to get up as far as Sligo, then cut back to Dublin through the middle of Ireland to catch our ferry home.
Let‘s home the weather improves for our last couple of weeks!
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