Today would prove to deliver a heavy dose of Ireland scenery - scenic valleys and passes, breathtaking cliffs, a bit of city shopping, staying at a B & B, and sheep.
Heading north from Galway we arrived at Gleniff Horseshoe Valley, appropriately named, near Sligo. This amounts to a six-mile loop road tucked into fabulous lush greenery and stone walls. Inside this valley you are surrounded by mountain walls, lush grazing land and one crumbling stone structure. The scenery is astounding.
A curious side note is, we shared this road with a man walking a dog - a quite unfriendly man who seemed to resent our presence. Come to find out he is quite famous for a grudge he has waged with the government over tourist coming to this valley. Apparently he owns some or much of this land. It is his belief that visitors should pay to view his land. However the road is public so anyone has access to it. Anyway, we certainly marveled over the scenery and admired the fact no one else was around - excluding one unhappy gentleman.
From Gleniff Valley we were off to the busy town of Donegal, where we were greeted with short-lived sunny skies. Walking the town and doing some shopping was our order of business in Donegal. Cameron had been wanting to jump in puddles so we purchased his first pair of wellies. Now he's set for the many impending puddles.
En route to famous Slieve League we drove through Glengesh Pass. Driving through the pass there are steep lush green hills rising high on each side of you with waterfalls and grazing sheep, sometimes appearing as distant white dots on a tall green canvas. Exiting the pass you are able to stop above the pass you just drove through and capture it on camera as we did. What a spectacular view during and after.
The two sheep we stopped for and allowed to cross the road unharmed, came along side the car and gave us another great photo opp. Thanks sheep.
From there we are off to Slieve League, a series of steep jagged cliffs, three time the height of the Cliffs of Moher, dropping down into Donegal Bay and looking out over the North Atlantic Ocean. While most of the visitor areas are fenced off near the edges to keep tourist from falling off the steep cliffs, sheep roam freely outside the fence inches from the cliffs, doing their thing.
Unlike yesterday at Cliffs of Moher, but much like earlier today at Glengesh Pass, we are nearly alone at one of Ireland's treasured natural attractions. The fact that it is dusk only adds to the mystique of being here in near solitude. We hiked quite high for some truly spectacular cliff views in different directions. We felt on top of the world at the end of the day, knowing that beyond our view over the Atlantic lies the United States, yet several hours earlier. You've gotta' love the experience travel delivers.
But the long day is not complete, we still have to traverse the hilly Irish interior to Glenties, our home for the night. And we are welcomed warmly by Mary and Hugh at their Avalon B&B for our first such experience. Their lovely home is matched by their own warmth. There was plenty of parking, nice private rooms with private baths, a central living area and a warm kitchen.
Our hosts, Mary & Hugh, gave us a few dinner suggestions and we wisely selected Kennedy's Gastro Pub in town, really just a few blocks away. Kennedy's proved to have excellent food and is nicely furnished and designed, rather upscale. Great dinner and pub.