The Cliffs of Moher, a portal tomb a pot still and away

This is the last day of the brewery trip, and all at the gallop.  A grand breakfast at the Wild Honey Inn (preceded by a fine dinner too, but no room or time for that just now), then the smoked salmon for, well not even elevenses.  We picked up a packet of smoked salmon for lunch as well, but first to the Cliffs of Moher and its new and sparkly visitor centre, neatly tucked under a hill and covered with turf.

They had gone to a lot of trouble to keep the site ‘natural looking’, but I’m not entirely convinced by the stone-effect sticky backed plastic being fixed to the pressed steel ticket offices.

Landscaping with sticky back plastic

 

The hard landscaping – walls and steps – were great for me, lots of Carboniferous limestone steps rich with fossil corals and shells,

First saw this stone as paving in Kilkenny, and at intervals everywhere we went. Lovely stuff.

and a wonderful thin cleaved sandstone covered in ripples and more pleasingly fossil mud tunnels of some burrowing beast.  I think I saw the stone in the Cliffs visitor centre display, and its a Carboniferous muddy sandstone.

A beautiful flagstone complete with ripples and burrows, or perhaps they’re tracks? Oh, and Jackie.

I should show you the cliffs as well – but at 300m they are not the tallest in reland, and , it being the morning, they are not in sunlight, but it will save you the price of admission.

Big cliff, big cave.

Then it was back onto the botharins to find a portal tomb on the Burren. 

Stone built round fortified medieval house called Cahelmacnaghten

Found out a bit more about this fort at

 rootsweb.ancestry.com website:

 

Stone Fort – “It is almost round in shape, with a diameter of about one hundred feet., and was entered through a late medieval two-storeyed gateway.” “The walls are almost ten feet high and huge stones were used in it’s constuction the fort had a batter of 1 in 8 and inside the fort there are the foundations of a large house and another two buildings.”

Funny place this Burren, we see no one on the way, the roads are empty, but you turn into the car park, and its heaving, Germans and French, Paddywagons full of young people, dog-walkers and toddlers, minibuses and motobikes – all conspiring to foil my attempts to capture the isolated nature of this 5000 year old tomb.

Poulnabrone Portal Tomb

After a brief stop to buy bread, fruit, Irish blue cheese and Irish smoked cheese for lunch  (I know we’ve got smoked salmon, but we’re on holiday damn it) we pick up another of those empty Irish motorways and zoom into Kilbeggan to rush round the distillery having the oldest working pot still in the world.  They give you a nip of the hard stuff at the tour end, but its not as generous as the Bushmills tour nip.

Paul, Fiona, Laura, Jo and Mia – our travelling companions.

Barely time to say goodbye to our excellent touring companions before we find ourselves on a brand new train heading north-west for Sligo to meet my brother.

 

 

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