Through Clare to Kinvara

Country Homes in County Clare

We drove through County Galway to County Clare. Since my 20’s I have been drawn to the region based on a recurring dream I had been experiencing for a few years.

I was trying to find the area the dream took place in and my research brought me here a couple years prior.

Narrow N67

I did not find exactly what I was looking for, and knew I would eventually return for one more try.

County Clare is incredibly beautiful and the landscape quite diverse. The Burren (a unique karst area) is here, as are the infamous ‘Cliffs of Moher‘.

irish Cottage

There is evidence that a neolithic culture thrived in Clare – the prehistoric people left behind megalithic tombs concentrated in the Burren.

The most famous of these is known as the Poulnabrone dolmen (the ‘hole of sorrows’).

That’s not all that is historically significant about County Clare. According to Wikipedia;

Bishop’s Island and Drumcliff Monasteries are ancient, dating back to the 6th century when Christianity was first introduced to Ireland.

Clare is also home to Kilbaha – a gorgeous scenic village that claims to have the closest pub to New York city (on this side of the water), as well as the resort town of Kilkee and historic Skattery Island, home to a lighthouse, a ruined monastery, an Irish round tower and the remains of an artillery battery.

Dunguaire Castle

It was low tide when we passed 16th century Dunguaire Castle and entered the quaint town of Kinvara/Kinvarra (‘head of the sea’ in Irish).

Low Tide in Kinvara

Many fishing boats and private vessels sat on the bottom of the sea bed waiting for the tide to return.

Colourful Kinvara seemed to be a very friendly town.

We stopped for a food fill and watched the locals and other tourists interact with each other. Happily chatting and snapping photos.

Colourful Kinvara

There were so many visitors that day to tiny Kinvarra, that the streets were packed with traffic – cars double parked everywhere.

My husband got a real kick out of the ‘don’t drive off the edge of the embankment into the ocean’ sign (pictured above), so he took a photo of it.

The Quay in Kinvara

He doesn’t do that often! We live on the ocean here in Canada – plenty of ocean drop embankments – and we have never seen a sign like that before – I guess that means it has happened here, at least once in the past!

The driving was slow going on this leg of our tour – with our mini spare tire limitations, and the narrow winding primarily single lane roads (by Canadian standards, at least!).

And we were not at all prepared for the busses – we were nearly ran off the road or into a stone wall – multiple times – scary!

View of County Clare

A few locals, surely noticing our stress and being very aware of the ‘bus issue’, asked us how we were faring driving through County Clare.

When telling our horror story, the unanimous local suggestion was NOT to let them hog the road, to stand our ground. How do you not let a huge passenger bus hog the road (especially when the roadways are lined with stone walls!)?!

Multiple Levels

One shop owner told us that the locals and various other merchants, were trying to petition to get the tour companies to reduce the size of their expeditions so they could commute using the smaller caravans which were far safer for the practically single lane, winding, walled roadways common throughout the region – so far with no luck.

Profit before safety – I thought that was a North American issue!

Additional photos in the slideshow.

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Follow this tour by heading to the ‘8 Country EU Tour‘ section. Many more photos of Ireland at the Habitual Runaway on Facebook.


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