Traveling Nancy

Traveling around the world as far as I can go.

Liscannor to Doolin through Cliffs of Moher

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Congratulations to my wonderful granddaughter, Maya, on her 8th grade graduation.

We awoke to another beautiful morning.  How lucky.

Saw a “Bird on a Wire” and blue, blue skies this morning as we began our walk.

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First we walked on the road  along the Liscannor Bay as we left the town.

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We came to a tower that had been built during the Napoleonic times by the Brittish government.

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It stands on the same spot where a prehistoric fort, named after an Irish chieftain, called Moher, used to rise above the cliffs.  This Moher fort gave its name to the cliff.

Apparently, this spot is the most southerly point if the Cliffs of Moher.  The name is said to come from the unusual rock formations in the cliff that supposedly resemble an old woman’s head looking out to see.  The call it  Hag’s Head – what an awful name.  Anyway, I never saw it, but here is a photo of it off the web.

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Of of course, I added a stone to the cairn that was there.  Just a Camino moment.

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We walked along a path enjoying the sites of the sea And the cliffs.

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This was my favorite place to add a stone to a cairn because it was on the cliffs.

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As we approached the visitor’s center there were so, so many people.  The Cliffs of Moher are Ireland’s most visited natural attraction with almost one million visitors every year.  They stands 214 m. (702 feet) tall at their highest point and stretch for 8 km along the coast of County Clare.  The cliffs consist mainly of beds of shale and sandstone, with the oldest rocks being 300 million years old and found at the bottom the cliffs.

We had lunch at the visitor’s center including ice-cream cones, of course.  It was Linnala Pure Irish ice-cream which was given its name by Bris & Roger Fahy.  The name means Swan Lake from a poem.  Their family has had a traditional dairy farm since the 1800s.  They started making ice-cream in 2006 using milk from their shorthorn cows which are native to the Burren.  Fresh cream, fruits, and nuts (as many as possible sourced in the Burren) are  used to produce the artesian ice-cream.

This tower is at the highest point  of the cliffs.  It is called O’Brien’s Tower.  Apparently it was built in 1835 by a local landowner and MP Sir Cornelius O’Brien with the intention of impressing female visitors.  Seriously!

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There are an estimated 30,000 birds of more than 20 species living on the cliffs. Mary said she saw Puffins way down at the bottom of the cliffs.  The seagulls are abundant and rooster in the crevices of the cliffs. I wish I could have identified others.

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It was great to get away from the crowds.  We were able to walk a section of the footpath that has not been officially completed to Doolin. That would allow us to avoid the road. We asked some local young men to make sure it would go all the way.

Here are a few photos from that part of our walk. I am below our path.

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Just a close-up.

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It was so inspiring to be here.

 

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Here is a close-up of the rock you can see in the photo above.  I love this rock.

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I look close to the edge, but I’m actually safe.

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The pools of water below us were wonderful

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At one point we passed this sign, and carefully continued on the trail.

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We were very cautious when it was narrow.

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Looking down…

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What a fantastic path.

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It was so exhilarating to walk by these cliffs.

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Of course we were careful crossing fences.
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Or when the edge seemed close.

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Another view looking back at our trail.

 

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Everything was was so beautiful.

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I loved the shimmering waiter.

 

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Of course we made made it all the way past the edge of the cliffs. We then came down closer to the sea.  I was so excited when Mary told me she had seem a pod of dolphins playing out in the water.  As I walked along I kept watching and watching and then they were there again.  There were so many of them.  It was impossible to get a photo.  So I just had to enjoy watching them play and probably eat dinner.  I have never seen so many dolphins at the same time..

Eventually we came close to Doolin.  On our right we saw Doonagore Castle, a round 16th century ‘tower house,’ overlooking the lower part of the village of Doolin, called Fisherstreet.  It is one of three round castles in The Burren.

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In 1558, during the retreat of the Spanish Armada from its failed attempt to invade England, 170 survivors of a Spanish shipwreck were caught by the High Sheriff of Clare, Boetius Clancy, and hanged at Doonagore Castle.  They are buried in a barrow near Doolin called Cnocán an Crochaire.

I have no idea where this cave in the cliff goes.  We were close to Doolin.

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We arrived in Doolin and stopped the souvenir shop and and the “made in Doolin chocolate shop” before we went to Doll’s Cottage to relax.

By this time I had checked over my photos, it was 9:00 and Mary didn’t want to go out.  But I had to go hear music in Doolin.  So I went to O’Connors Pub for some food and music.  There were 3 musicians playing and then an old local named Ted started singing with them.  Sean O’Connor’s parents (Sean is the the owner of Doll’s B&B)  actually used to own O’Connors Pub.   He told me to make sure I got to hear Ted sing.

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I  stayed until about 10:45 and then realized that I better get to sleep if I wanted to walk the next day.

Another thing that I have realized is my favorite length of walks on this trip is between 15 km and about 20 km, although 22 is not bad. That is with the rest of our height will be. I think Mary actually prefers the 22 km to 28 km walks but it is hard for me to keep up with her.

Another thing I have been thinking about a lot is the benefit of walking. The people who are on the tours have to go exactly where the tour guide wants them to go. The people who are in cars go by the scenery so fast.  Even the people who to bike rides through this country could not have done the hike we did today. You had to be walking. It is clearly the most intimate way to  see the landscape. Of course, when I get really tired, I have to remind myself how wonderful walking is.

Author: Nancy Panitch

Traveling has been a passion of Nancy Panitch's life and she loves seeing how people in other cultures live. Her travels have taken her to many places within the United States, Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa. Being around people inspires her and she has much gratitude for the kindred Souls that are joining together with her in body, mind, and heart. She moved from Chicago to Portland, Oregon in 1982. It was one of the best decisions of her life. While in Portland she stays very, VERY busy. She volunteers (Inter-Religious Action Network, Human Rights Council, & ushering for various theaters); attends a Unitarian Universalist church; goes hiking with groups (Cascade Prime Timers & Trails Club of Oregon) and also with individual friends. Book groups, movie group, and bridge groups occupy her time as well. Her quiet activities include yoga, knitting, Sudoku, and reading. She enjoys all of these activities, but making time to see her wonderful 4 grandchildren takes priority over it all. She is happy to share this blog and hopes to encourage others to travel.

9 thoughts on “Liscannor to Doolin through Cliffs of Moher

  1. Thanks, tired girl. I enjoyed the hike and the blue skies too. Take care. Love, Grace

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  2. Another breathtaking day…thank you for sharing, Nancy! XO

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  3. Spent two weeks at the Cliffs and Doolin in 1997 and do not remember many people, nor do I remember a Visitor Center. What I do remember is it was difficult to enjoy the music in Doolin as there was still smoking in the pubs then. It is such a gorgeous area and I envy your walk along the cliffs.

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  4. Doolin is great. Kick your boots off and stay another day … and night, for the music. Your Cliffs of Moher trail photos were fabulous. I’ve been to the Cliffs, but only the touristed out part. That’s fun, but it looks like you two hit the mother lode on the trail.

    By the way, as I type this in Oregon, it’s your birthday where you are. Have a great one!!

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  5. Happy Birthday, dear Nancy! Looking forward to celebrating you when you come home. xoxo Grace

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  6. Reading your blog of the cliffs of Moher and the evening in Doolin brought back so many happy memories! We walked the cliffs and enjoyed the music in Doolin in 1997 – thanks for the wonderful pictures of your day!

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  7. Happy Birthday Nancy! It is still morning here, but you are already celebrating in one of the Irish pubs. I can’t believe you got to hear one of the Chieftains play. Celebrate your day. You are tough and hiking 14 odd miles is very admirable. Congratulations.

    Hugs, Tonya

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  8. Happy Birthday Nancy, Your trek photos are glorious. Ireland’s paths look so remote and peaceful. A real pilgrimage!!

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  9. I was listening to Wagner’s Prelude to Tristan and Isolde while reading and looking at your blog. It was fitting with the rise and fall of the music, I evisioned the rise and fall of the ocean against the cliffs. I have been there and I could feel your love for the area. Ann

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