Co. Clare::Kilkee & Loop Head — Day 12

structure near Doonbeg pier

A structure near Doonbeg pier

This morning we had a late start because an electrician stopped by to fix the hot water. While he worked, he chatted about his visits to the States, including a visit during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

After the electrician left we drove into Doonbeg to see if anyone sold fish. I’d read that one could buy fish from fishermen who landed at the pier. We walked out on the pier, but didn’t see any fishermen. It was just as well because we wouldn’t know what to do with a fish that hadn’t been gutted and skinned.

Fishing boat

Irish Fishing boat

While we saw no fishermen in their boats, we did see some fishing boats that reminded us of the boats from The Secret of Roan Inish.

Clare on the beach

Clare on the beach

After Doonbeg we drove down the coast to a town called Kilkee. We’d seen it when we first got to County Clare. It seemed like a crowded and tacky holiday town — a place I’d wanted to avoid. I was hoping to spend only an hour or so there, but after taking a walk along the sheltered, but dirty beach Dean and the kids found some rocks on which to climb on. They got dangerously close to the sea while huge waves crashed just below them. Clare and Andrew also found holes in the rocks and climbed into them. The crashing waves were a beautiful turquoise color.

Andrew at Kilkee

Andrew at Kilkee

Had I researched the town before visiting, I may have forgiven its current appearance had I known more about it. It was a Victorian seaside resort and had been visited by several famous people including Che Guevara and Charlotte Bronte. Richard Harris owned a house there as well.

Fishermen along the Loop Head coastal route

Fishermen along the Loop Head coastal route

After an expensive and disappointing lunch (at a bar that claimed to have lodged Che Guevara) we drove along a route called Loop Head. The views from many points along this route were spectacular, and in my opinion, were more impressive than the Cliffs of Moher.  Of course the kids had to push the limits and get close to the edges of the sea cliffs.

Memorial to a man who fell off the cliff

Memorial to a man who fell off the cliff

On one spot we saw a lot of people with fishing rods walking over a hill. I kept to the inside, away from the edges of the cliffs, but Dean and the kids took a more dangerous route near the fishermen. I went back to the car which was parked next to a comforting memorial to a man who fell off the cliff. While I waited for my family to return, I wondered if I’d put a memorial up for them or not. I also wondered how I’d get back to civilization since I had no idea how to drive the car. I was very happy to see them when they finally did come back away from the edge of the cliffs.



The route takes you to a lighthouse (that it seems you can rent). I’d heard the birds were interesting by the lighthouse, so I made sure to have my binoculars handy. I didn’t see any unusual birds, but there were a lot of them.

Loop Head isn’t that far of a drive, but the roads are so small it takes a long time to complete.  We were ready to go back to our cottage and play some more games and have an easy meal of spaghetti.

More Day 12 photographs on Flickr.

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