Banratty, Ennis and Loop Head

A rather typical Sunday it has to be said. A bit of a lie in was needed, and a gentle start to the day. We stopped on a campsite in Banratty, which had a castle and a recreation of a 19th century Irish village. This weekend they also had a Bluegrass music festival, but we couldn’t summon the energy on Saturday night, or the enthusiasm on Sunday for the afternoon session, somewhat put off by having pay to go into the castle and village to hear it. Plus, it was too nice a day to be stuck indoors.

So we settled for a mooch around the woollen mill and the masses of TSTTB. Then made a hasty departure for a lunch in Ennis. A nice little town, plenty of shops. You realise how detrimental the high street chains are when you see places like this, which has avoided man yo f them so far, so lots of idiosyncratic independents.

Now back into the Wild Atlantic Way, we headed on out to Loop Head, a peninsula sticking out into the sea. We arrived just before dusk, in time for our first sunset over the sea. Everywhere else has been too south facing, with the sun disappearing over a headland before hitting the sea, so it was nice to really enjoy this sunset. The rocks here are pretty amazing, and the mountains of Kerry rise up out of the sea to the south.

A cloud bank way out to the west meant we still didn’t quite get to see the sun dip beneath the waves, but nearly!

We camped the night in the carpark next of the lighthouse. All peaceful except for the wind whistling past. And that’s as bad as the weather gets. We can’t believe our luck with the weather, and the locals we’ve chatted to are thrilled. They had a wet summer so they are very excited to be getting a dry autumn. Long may it continue, but if the forecast is anything to go by, it’s going to be dry and not very much colder for the foreseeable.

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