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Trip Report 9 nights in Ireland

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We (me, my daughter and family friend) arrived in Shannon with no problems. We prepaid our car rental at Dan Dooley. Went to their counter, only took a couple minutes for paperwork. Then went out the door and their shuttle picked us up in about 2 minutes. Their shuttle driver was very fast, efficient and friendly. Gave us some quick words of advice "stay left, look right" and we were on our way to Ennis.

The weather was nice and we were early for our B&B check in so decided to head right on over to the Cliffs. My friend decided to drive since I was the better navigator. We found the cliffs of Moher easily by following signs. We pulled into the parking lot and were told they take cash only, no credit. We forgot to stop at the ATM at the airport. The male working the booth said no problem, gave us a ticket and told us to pay inside. This was all done on the "honor system" which we found was throughout most of our trip. The Cliffs were gorgeous. We walked around and took lots of pictures. We hit the ATM in the gift shop which only allowed 120 euro at a time. Did a little souvenir shopping and left. We were going to try for Doolin for a visit, but the driver was was having anxiety already from the drive so far and by me yelling "move right" a bunch of times. She liked to drive in the bushes and off the road. My left hand was sore from me trying to push the door away from me when we went towards the bushes. My daughter was in the backseat holding onto to my headrest with a death grip. This continued for a couple days.

We got to Ennis quite easily. After circling the city 3 times we finally stop and ask for directions to our b&b, the Grey Gables. It was literally 1 minute drive from where we were at. We checked in easily. This was an average B&B. The room we had was extremely small for 3 people. TV didn't work, clock didn't work and a light bulb missing from the lamp. Breakfast was just average. Mary always asked where we were going and always gave us directions, maps etc. The great thing about it was it was close to city center and could be walked easily.

Most of the restaurants were closed by the time we got there so we ate at a chinese restaurant. We were hungry so it was good. We stopped at the Poets corner for some "trad" music. We asked the waitress for a good Irish beer. She suggested Smithwicks which we all liked. The music was good.

The next day Mary gave us directions to the Burren. We were on a very small road. Then we got behind a road crew that closed the road down while they worked on it. So we had to turn around. We followed signs and made it after a couple wrong turns and with me screaming "move right" several times. We found the Poulnabrone Dolmen quit easily. Stayed there for awhile exploring until a tour bus came. Stopped at a couple old cemetaries and old buildings along the way. Then we went up to Ballyvaughan. Had lunch at Monks Pub. And yes, it was the best clam chowder I've had. Explored a little around there and decided to head back.

We thought we were going the same way we came but we weren't. We ended up going down a very small street where 2 cars would be a tight squeeze. I told my friend to turn around. She did not. I swear every corner we came to, she slowed down to nothing and all 3 of us were trying to peer our heads around the corner to see if anyone was coming. Then she turned down another street and this should not even be considered a street. Only one car would fit and grass was growing in the middle of the street. I told my friend I strongly object to this road, which made us all laugh. We saw 2 hikers a little while into the street and I took a picture of them. They had to get off the road completely when we went by. Then another car came. I think I screamed "a car a car" My friend starts immediately pulling off the road. I tell her to stop because the dirt doesn't look flat. She doesn't listen and pulls right off the road and the whole left front of the car goes down. She tries to back up after the car passes and just spins the tires in the mud that shes stuck in. I get out to look and the mud is covering almost the whole tire. The other driver sees and stops to help as do the hitchhikers. Together the 5 of us push it out of the mud. We manage to make it back to Ennis.

Went back to Poets corner and ate. Food was great. Clam chowder was good. Cheesecake better. Listened to some music and made our way back to our b&b. The next day we head on over to Loophead. We stopped a few places along the way, whatever looked interesting. Stopped at bridges of Ross. Stayed there for awhile. It's gorgeous!. Nobody else was there. Probably because it was very windy and light rain. By the time we left and got to Loophead it was raining. Sat in the car for a little while until it let up. Went up the lighthouse. Saw the mist coming. Only had a few minutes of visibility before it hit. There were only 3 other cars there. The cliffs here are pretty impressive, almost comparable to Cliffs of Moher with a LOT less people milling about.

A very enjoyable day. The driving has gotten way better. I actually took my hand off the door and my daughter sat back and stopped gripping my headrest. I still yell "move right" occasionally, but only when I have a stonewall on my side. I just let her hit the bushes now. We got the insurance. :-) Back to the Grey Gables for our 3rd and last night.

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