Saturday, September 16, 2017

Summer 2017 {Ireland Part 2}


By the 6th day of our Irish adventure, we had established a rhythm of camper van life.   Breakfast at the campsite, picnic lunch in an abbey or castle, and supper at the pub.  

I really enjoyed the sacred sites that we included in our itinerary.  From Belleek, we headed to Rosserk Friary and Mary's Well in County Mayo.  Rosserk is one of the best preserved Franciscan friaries.  The well is covered by a tiny chapel which was built in 1798.  It is said that the many miracles have taken place at the well.
Rosserk Friary
Tobair Mhuire  /  St. Mary's Well
From St. Mary's Well we drove to Crogh Patrick where St. Patrick fasted for 40 days.  We did not climb the mountain.

We headed to Connemara Park and the Doo Lough Pass.  

We stopped at the Doo Lough Famine Memorial, a memorial for the more than 400 people seeking famine relief who died travelling from Louisburgh to Delphi during the Great Famine (1849).



As you can see from the photo above, the road is narrow. It also services traffic in both directions and I believe the speed limit on that road was 80 km.  We did not have our campsite pre-booked and had difficulty finding a campground.  The three campgrounds we contacted were full, so we ended up travelling further than we had anticipated - finally finding a vacancy at a rustic campground in Spiddle, County Galway.
Spiddal Caravan & Camping Park, County Galway

The next morning (Day 7) we headed into the town of Spiddle for shopping at a wonderful Irish souvenir shop, Standun. 




Claddagh Rings


Clothespin Bag


After shopping, our goal was to reach Doolin where we booked a caravan site near the Cliffs of Mohr. On route, we visited Dunguaire Castle (16th century) and Corcomroe Abbey (13th century Cistercian Abbey).
Dunguaire Castle
 
Corcomroe Cistercian Abbey
Once we checked into our campground {Nagles Doolin Camping & Caravan Park}, we headed to the Cliffs of Mohr (about a 15 minute drive from the caravan park).  
Nagles Caravan Park
The weather at the cliffs can change quickly.  I recommend allowing some flexibility into your schedule.  I am so glad we made the decision to view the cliffs that evening because the next day the winds were heavy and the visibility was poor.   High winds will also close access to the cliffs.    
The cliffs were breathtaking and we were fortunate that our visit took place long after the tour buses had left.  There were just a handful of tourists during our visit.
After our visit to the cliffs, we headed to another sacred site - St. Bridget's Well only about 15 minutes away.

St. Bridget's Well is one of the oldest and most sacred wells in Ireland and particularly important to the Aran people. St. Bridget is the patronness of healing and you can hear the sound of the running waters.  In the grotto leading to the waters, pilgrims leave momentos, photos and rosaries.






In my third and final post, I will share the last few days of our great Irish camper van adventure.

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