Saturday, June 4, 2016
Finally a late morning and we sleep in. Full Irish breakfast for Rich at a local pub. I stick with a weak cappuccino and a scone.
The orders of the morning are to visit the Saturday Galway market, get Rich a new belt (TSA in Phoenix “stole” his), pick up our rings, get rental car and head further west to Clifden.
We managed to pick up our rental car and actually “find” it in one of the garages after a bit of a snafu with me losing the map to the correct garage.
Our little Nissan Note is fueled up and ready. Fortunately, it is Rich who will drive on the left with the steering wheel on the RICHT and the standard transmission shift on the LEFT (picture that if you can!) Worse even than that is the fact that it is I who is doing the navigating… I have my gps on my phone AND I have an entire atlas of Ireland. What could go wrong?
We wind our way from east to west on some totally beautiful roads and Rich does great. We are heading west only about 50 km to the town of Clifden where we easily locate the Quay House B&B – our home for 2 glorious nights.
The Quay House is located directly on Galway Bay and is very highly rated on TripAdvisor due to the hospitality shown by the proprietors Paddy and Julia. We are met by their son, Toby and are shown directly to what we believe is the best suite in the house – the Napoleon Suite. Its on the top floor with commanding views and is decorated completely over the top with Napoleon “stuff.” We love it immediately.
After settling in, we venture downstairs and ask Todd where we can go for a beer with a view. He asks if we want to people watch in town or want somewhere more remote with a water view. We go with the second option and are instructed to go to the Boardwalk Cafe – a 1 mile walk down the road away from town. Great choice.
The walk to the Boardwalk is great and the venue and setting when we arrive are awesome. We order a Guiness for Rich and “something hoppy” for me. It is worth noting that the care in which this particular Guiness was poured was a thing of beauty. Rich has become quite an aficionado of the Guiness “pour.” Seriously – there are YouTube channels devoted to pouring this stuff. Check HERE for the official Guiness website directions.
We sat here for a couple of hours enjoying the perfect weather and watching locals and tourists alike boating, swimming and hanging out. The road dead ends here and it truly feels like the end of the world.
Since it is a bank holiday and there are lots of “in country” tourists in Clifden, Julia has made us a reservation at a local restaurant – Marconi. We make the short walk into town for dinner. It is worth noting that Rich has pointed out a “possible” restaurant for tomorrow dinner – some lame-o Indian place called “Basmati.” Yeah, right – like I am going to go to an Indian take-out place while here in Ireland…
Marconi is good, but not great. Rich goes for the lamb shank and I have medallions of monkfish. We enjoy the meal and linger over glasses of Sauv blanc.
I don’t know where the time goes here. We look up from dinner and it is after 11pm. I think it is because it stays light until after 10 – very strange for us. We make the walk home and are shocked to notice that the tide has gone so far out that our bay is emptied with several boats “beached.”
Tomorrow is a total driving day and we hope we are up for it. We plan to mess around Connemara National Park and the area just west/northwest of Clifden. Should be a beautiful drive if the weather holds out. Cross your fingers!