Tuesday, June 07, 2016

The Ireland-UK Trip: Day 4 - Quiet Man Bridge, Clifden's Sky Road and Sheep

It had been forecasted to rain all day today but we woke to sunny and clear skies.  Bonus!

After breakfast we headed out to Oughterard, where the stone bridge used by Sean Thorton, the character played by John Wayne, was supposed to be located.  Turns out its not and we wasted some time trying to find it.  Eventually, we found a link on Google which led us right to it, after quite the detour which seemed inexplicable, oh well.

Alas, the private property fences and such prevented a desired repetition of this screen capture from the movie:

Instead, we had to settle for these shots:

We wasted quite some time at this bridge but finally Martha brought me to my senses and we motored onwards towards Clifden and lunch.

Along the way, we got some fine views of the mountains of the Connemara Region:

Clifden is a small quaint little town by the sea, and is the gateway to a route called the Sky Road as it rides a ridge that allows some rather nice views of the water.

 Clifden, Ireland

 Quite the impressive structure eh?  We saw this castle-like structure
along the Sky Road loop, but it looks like it was just someone's driveway.
(Martha was checking the map to determine what the gateway was)

 Views along the Sky Road

Martha had an ability to attract the local livestock...

On the way back towards our hotel in Cong, we stopped at the Kylemore Abbey for a brief tour of the Abbey and the Gothic Church.    Here's some more information about this rather imposing abbey: LINK.
 One's initial view of the Abbey 

 Low angle views of the Gothic Church on the estate grounds.

 Standing at the Abbey's main entrance

 Martha (the small light blue spot) standing by some nicely lit
by the sun trees alongside the water.

 A closer view of the Abbey from about the spot where Martha
was standing in the previous picture.

Mary Kate's view of the Abbey from the parking lot.

After we left the Abbey, we spent about an hour on usually narrow country roads with views of the Connemara area's mountains.  There were lots of sheep both within fenced fields and on the roads!  Yep, we came so close to some sheep who were just inches from rushing car traffic that we could see their eyes staring back at us.  Sometimes, they'd move away from traffic by a foot or so, but a lot of them just stood their ground and munched away at the roadside grass.

We had been taking side roads as we found them and we found this momma sheep and her little ewe munching away on the grass by the roadside:

We made it back to Cong with no incidents, skipped going out to dinner as we were both a bit tired from another long day of riding.  Tomorrow, we'll explore Cong's "The Quiet Man" locations hopefully along with touring the grounds of Ashford Castle.


RichardM said...

More beautiful photos. I really like the look of the stone bridge as well as all of the lakes. Are you able to fit all of your luggage on the rig or are you doing day trips from a central location?

redlegsrides said...

We left a lot of the luggage with the rental rig provider, RichardM. He provided the soft panniers you see on Mary Kate and would have provided a topcase as well but we didn't feel we needed it. It's a tight fit but it works. The trunk in the cozy contains stuff as well as spare inner tubes and tools I think. We use the cargo racks at the rear of the tug and sidecar to bungie on my laptop bag and Martha's backpack.

Oz said...

Beautiful countryside! Looks so fun.

redlegsrides said...

Thank you Thomas Osburn

Martha said...

Yep, Richard, we are traveling in minimalist mode right now. Mentally, I packed as if we were going camping, and then instead of sleeping outdoors and truly "roughing it", we get a surprise each night of a comfortable bed, hot showers and a pub within walking distance. But there is much truth in the suggestion to pack light and you will enjoy the trip more!

Anonymous said...

Love those little roads - looks like fun!

Trobairitz said...

Beautiful views and a gorgeous Abbey. I love all the old stone work. Glad the day's weather held out for the ride.

redlegsrides said...

Motoventures, those narrow roads could be quite fun if part of a closed course.....too many blind curves and no room for error with live traffic.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Trobairitz, the weather has been amazing according to the locals!

Gary France said...

This is amusing. It is like I am reliving my tour of Ireland, but in reverse. It is fun that you have been to many of the places I went to just last week. Sky Road, Clifden, Moher, the Abbey are all places I photographed. I wish you well on the rest of your tour and I hope you stay (mainly) dry.

redlegsrides said...

We're just going where the great have blazed a path Gary....thanks! :)