This morning we departed our excellent overnight lodgings at Rockville Guest House near Westport run my friendly host Mary. However, before departing, we could not resist photographing the magnificent view from the Guest House. Our tour progressed as follows:

  • The ruins of Murrisk Abbey, not far from Westport. An interesting shoreline location with pleasant views.
  • National Famine Monument. A huge ship sculpture in bronze in remembrance of all Irish people who died and/or emigrated as a result of the Great Famine of the 1840s.
  • A drive through rugged countryside and  the Doo Lough pass and then a photo stop at the Aasleagh Falls near Leenane.
  • Close to Leenane we stopped for a coffee break at an interesting pub which offered seaweed baths and was als0 a venue for traditional Irish music.
  • Next we drove on to Kylemore Abbey which, unusually, is not a ruin. In fact this a late Victorian Gothic mansion subsequently taken over by an order of Benedictine Nuns and is very popular as  tourist destination. There is limited access to the Abbey and in light of heavy rain we focused our attention on the Visitor Centre.
  • After departing Kylemore, we came across traditional Irish peat workings which necessitated another photo stop. Peat is decayed vegetation widely used for home heating and as a soil supplement.
  • Next we continued south and stopped at the small country town of Oughterard for a pub lunch and shopping. Encountered a gentleman who claimed to have drunk Guinness for 50 years-and was looking quite well!
  • After Oughterard, we continued south to another country town, this time Ennis. Here we viewed the impressive monument to Daniel O’Connell (1775-1847) who was known as the Liberator and the first Catholic to be elected to Parliament since 1689. We had a walk around the town, carefully navigating the narrow streets, before some final refreshment and then on to our final destination of Limerick where we are staying at Jury’s Inn.  

Another full and varied day.Weather was mixed with rain showers in the morning easing up to some sunshine in the afternoon.

Tomorrow we plan to drive around the Ring of Kerry.

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