Yeah! We went out! Gerry is mobile again. He’s not quite hiker ready but he can manage short distances and I’m doing ok but still a bit tender. But time was running out for us in County Clare, so like a couple of old dears we decided we could go out for a nice drive. And we took a picnic and a flask of tea too!
We’d wanted to explore the Shannon Estuary. We’d planned to take the ferry across to Ballybunion Beach (mainly because we loved the name) although there was a glorious coastal walk there too. Sadly not for us this time. Instead we drove out to Loop Head lighthouse at the County Clare end of the Shannon estuary, having first driven along the coastal road as much as we could. It felt good to be out again!
We parked in the visitor’s car park and headed off along what looked like a trail. It wasn’t really marked but it was well worn. The sky was blue and the wind was strong but it gosh it felt good to be walking again. The trail, as the name suggests, loops around the headland but we only walked for about 10 minutes before turning back… it was all we allowed ourselves.. The path felt odd underfoot, it was soft and bouncy and unlike any trail I’d walked on, but I could happily get used to the feeling. Inside I just wanted to keep walking. It was the perfect day for it and I could have easily followed the coast for as long as I could. But that would be foolhardy. And whilst I was feel stronger, Gerry really couldn’t manage much, so instead we returned to the car.
We drove onward and the road dropped down to sea level and the wind was so strong the waves were crashing over the beach and on to the road. We wondered what it would be like on a stormy day as the weather today was really rather pleasant!
We stopped for a drink at a tiny village called Kilbaha. It was less of a village and more of a tiny harbour, 2 houses and a bar. The barman tried to sell me a Corona beer because he believed it was Gluten Free. It’s not! I settled for a fizzy water. We sat on a table beside the beach, on this breezy sunny afternoon, watching seabirds bob around on the waves and decided life was good.
With our drinks finished we continued on to the Bridge of Ross; apparently there were once three bridges but two collapsed into the sea so now there is only one. Gerry found a bench, he’d had enough walking for one day but I trotted off for my 10 minutes on the path and what a glorious 10 minutes they were too. A beautiful trail on a beautiful day. It may have been a short stroll but it felt wonderful and a promise of things to come.
Tomorrow we’re leaving County Clare and we head down to County Cork. We hope to have a few more days of walking but we’re taking it easy… one foot in front of the other.
Ps we had a rather spectacular sunset last night too