Tag Archives: ireland independant travel

Independent Travel: Ballyvaughan to Cork

First we went to the Barren Experience Centre – audio visual show at €5/person which was a good introduction to the neolithic stone tombs of the area and the limestone karst geology that made them possible. A few wild flowers were out and it was remote and beautiful in the area. Then we drove over the Cliffs of Mohar – here’s a hint if it costs €4 to park but the site is free – its well on the tourist circuit!

Cliffs of Mhoar, Western Ireland Photo: Martin O'Connell via flickr

Frankly I’ve seen better cliffs – notably in South Australia and Victoria – these were nice enough and the weather was fine – but I wouldn’t put them on your must see list unless you have never seen the water meet the land before (head up to Northern Ireland for the Giant’s Causeway for something much more interesting).

Driving south back to Cork – we stopped off to see the ruined Abby at Ennis. Trying to get around Limerick in the middle of the afternoon involved about 40 minutes in traffic jams on the ring road – I’d avoid it like the plague at anytime when it was supposed to be busy – like rush hour! That said the good thing about Ireland is that it really is a very compact place and you can see a lot with your own vehicle.

I can’t help much with rental rates- we borrowed a little yellow van from relatives and paid for the extra drivers on the insurance. The van was small – had limited visibility out the back and only 2 seats up front – but it was just fine. You don’t need a big vehicle – a sub compact would be just fine – and an advantage on some of the B-roads off the beaten track. This entire trip got more and more touristy as we headed north – so if you want to get off the beaten track get out of Dublin and the “big sights” close to it and head to Cork and the south.

Independent Travel: Galway to Ballyvaughan via Corcomroe

Weather a lot drier and warmer today. We drove the loop around Corcomoroe. Stopped at Kylenoc (sp?) house €10 to see the grounds and the house – hardly worth it. But they did have a nice gift shop – I bought a jade dolphin to add to the collection – and they tried to charge my credit card in US$ – hmm excuse me what country is this again – I’m surprised its even legal – but its definitely a rort – always make sure your card is charged in the currency of the country you happen to be in!

The barren Burren, Limestone Country - Ireland

We had a pub lunch in Clifden – actually the first time we’ve bought lunch. Quite a few more tourists in this part of Ireland – far more than we saw down south. We had to drive back around Galway to get the the Burren – remote and wild limestone country – covered in simple Neolithic tombs – its the history of the place that gets me. The standard B&B in town was charging €60/2 – though we are managing to stay under budget at around €140/2 per day.