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.

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