21. Kilrush and Kilkee

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We landed back in County Clare on the Killimer ferry slip and cycled on the N67 to Kilrush.

And there was a man sticking pictures of Dana up on all the lampposts. So we went into a shop and bought all kinds of everything for our picnic ...

which we ate in the little park down near the marina, beside relics of Kilrush's maritime past. Although it is on a tidal creek, it was a busy port in the nineteenth century. Now Kilrush creek has an embankment with lock gates to provide a constant level of water in the marina.

Two of us decided to break the habit of the holiday and stop here for a pint. The others set more store by getting the cycling for the day behind them and set off for Kilkee. The pint was enjoyed in the S.S. Turk. No, I didn't ask,nor was there anything about the vessel in the bar, and a subsequent search on the internet has not yielded an explanation of its name.

The West Clare Railway (page 20) was three miles away on the road to Kilkee. Both pairs of cyclists broke the journey there and compared photos later. This is tourism as a competitive sport: 'Did you not see the ---? You shouldn't have missed that!' Bring back the 'I Spy' books.

From Moyasta Junction the road to Kilkee is quite deceptive. It seems to go up all the way, and you would expect have a great downhill run at the end ...

but there was just the merest little descent. Marie wonders what keeps the sea from rushing over Kilkee and flooding down to Kilrush, going 'whee!'

Our point of arrival was the mid-point of the curve of the bay, beside the two winkle stalls. Had we slipped through a fold in the space-time continuum and arrived in Southend-on-Sea?

View panorama of Moore Bay

Panorama of Moore Bay:
Video clip (148KB).

If you stand at the winkle stalls with your back to Moore Bay, just up the road you see the Bay View guest house and bar. That's where we stayed ( Eu.30).

The view from our window.

We had a pint in a bar where the live music was much less Irish than advertised (though I think the spoons were Irish), and then dinner in the Stella Maris Hotel, where we sat by windows with a view of the sun setting over the bay.

And could not resist dashing out for a photo or two.

According to the barman there, the population of Kilkee is 1500 for 46 weeks of the year; but for six weeks beginning about the second week in July it is 25,000. It's possible that 23,500 of the locals take very long holidays. But likelier that there is a large summer influx. Best to come early in the season.

The starters included Haugh's Black Pudding & Onion Marmalade, Eu.6.50; Sautéed Carrigahole Crab Claws, 8.90; Creamed Whitebank Mussels, 6.50. And among the main courses was a Seafood Platter: A selection of Carrigaholt landed seafood, salmon, smoked salmon, smoked mackerel, prawns and oysters, 19.75. Seafood a bit of a speciality then. But the meat was good too.

And not long after the sun had sunk in the west, so did we.

Approaching Kilrush.

View towards the centre of town from the harbour (now marina).

'Sure isn't the price of a pint something terrible?'
Seen in the SS Turk bar in Kilrush. It was about to go up to Eu.4.20.

The sun sinking in the sea beyond Moore Bay, 9.44 p.m.

After the sun had set, 10.04 p.m.


21. Kilrush and Kilkee

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