Bogs, Bikes and Bodhrans

The Wild Atlantic on a mellow evening

The Wild Atlantic Way is a spectacular tourism trail on the west coast of Ireland – and on to parts of the north coast. The driving route of 2,500 km stretches from County Donegal’s Inishowen Peninsula in the North all the way to Kinsale, County Cork at the very South, the longest coastal touring route in the world apparently.

Last year, with our trusty caravan in tow, we tackled the southern section heading west from Rosslare to Cork and the gorgeous Kerry peninsula. Memorable highlights? To name just a few, camping within twenty metres of the ocean at ‘Eagle’s Point’, swimming with jellyfish (yes!), finding ancient Celtic sites, the scenic Macgillycuddy Reeks, the Gap of Dunloe (when the other tourists had gone home…) and spotting wild sea eagles – with their huge 2.5 metre wing span – near Garinish Island.

This year we certainly covered a full 2000 miles: from home in Buckinghamshire to Holyhead in Anglesey/ Dublin by ferry and then West across country to what we call the ‘middle section’ of the Wild Atlantic Way from County Kerry, past the lovely Dingle peninsula and to Galway and Connemara.

How we loved our week in Connemara, once again pitched within a stumble of the Atlantic at Clifton Eco Beach where good practice was very ‘green’. Memorable highlights? Well everything is memorable just now: many ‘sightings’ of Misty Dawn my once upon a time, much loved, beautiful, sweet natured, hardy, sure-footed, pure white Connemara mare, feeling liberated on our electric bikes as we cycled throught the tranquil scenery of the Connemara Bog Road with the spectacular backdrop of the Twelve Bens, visiting the Aran Islands (of Father Ted fame), and of course the Slea Head Drive (Slí Cheann Sléibhe), a circular route on the most western tip of the Dingle Peninsula with spectacular views to the Blasket islands – the last twenty-two inhabitants moved to the mainland in 1953 after the island population suffered from famine and emigration. And then the people and the music, and the dancing…

and next year….?

Handcrafted Bodhrans, Bog Cotton, e-Bikes and carnivorous bog sundew plants (Drosera rotundifolia)

Misty Dawn ‘lookalike’ Connemara Pony overlooking Connemara coastal islands (image Pam Clingan)

Swimming safely with a tow float, Catchy Wild Atlantic Way logo, Wild ocean from ferry crossing