There was an interestingly laid out castle in Portumna, called Portumna castle, go figure. The interior was no great shakes as work continues on its restoration but I really liked the way the ground and wall gates were laid out.
One's first "arched" view of the castle, from the ticket booth
office located at the first gate.
A play with depth of fields, with Martha seemingly leaning
on the castle.
Located off to the side, a kitchen garden with
a variety of plants and flowers attracted Martha's attention.
It didn't take us long to tour the castle and available grounds, and soon after we left Portumna to ride down the west coast route around Lough Derg. We'd hoped it be something similar to Sky Road near Clifden in that we'd be riding along with many views of the lake and its surrounding countryside but that was not to be.
The GPS route did have us divert from the main road onto
a narrow one lane road that climbed a bit to give us this
view of the lake. There weren't many spots besides
this one to shoot the lake, mind you.
Back on R463, we came upon a designated stop point location per the GPS. It was a parking lot located near a beach access point for the lake. We got out to stretch our legs.
Martha decided she wanted close up pictures of a pair of white swans we saw with a flock of cygnets in tow:
As you can see, the male approached Martha thinking
she had some bread for him to eat.
The male in fact go so close it startled Martha
and she had to be rescued by a nearby
gentleman who was doing the actual feeding
of the birds in the area!
Momma Swan and her cygnets
We left the beach and proceeded the remaining few miles to the towns of Ballina and Killaloe. They're joined by a very narrow bridge that only allows traffic in one direction at a time, we could see it generating long queues on each side. Our hotel was on the Ballina side of the bridge with a nice view of the harbor:
Looking from Ballina over to Killaloe
We had dinner on the Ballina side at the Italian restaurant rated #1 by Tripadvisor. They were right, it was good food and good service!
After dinner it was time for a walk or mini-death march, depends which one of us you ask.
St Flannan's Cathefral dominates the skyline but it
was closing when we arrived, so no pictures of the inside.
A view of our hotel from the Killaloe side of the river,
can you see Mary Kate?
Why yes, I am smiling....really.
That's it for tonight, I am feeling more comfortable with riding the rig with the sidecar on the left side and on being on the left side of the road. Our rental period is ending however in a couple of days, oh well.