We had finally made it to the Cliffs of Moher.
We parked and walked the strip of souvenir shops – uniquely placed into the rolling hills – watched a few people shoplift trinkets, and decided to have a meal before embarking on our 15km round trip WALK.
I decided to have the cheese plate and a glass of wine, breaking all home rules.
My husband is entirely offended by most cheese, and as a trade off for having to give up most seafood he loved (due to my severe shellfish allergy), we ‘agreed’ to not have it in the house.
The cheese plate itself was grotesquely over loaded and surely meant for a group of at least four – with its pie sized quarters of differing delicious, reeking (foul, as my husband would say!) cheeses. I ate every bite fully aware that I was breaking at least one of the carnal sins. Fantastic!
Full of food and drink we knew it was time to head out along the precarious cliff edge and past the warning sign.
Both of us were wary of the fact that the cliffs of Moher take upwards of 12 lives per year (a reported fact I found while researching in 2010, but have had difficulty finding now through the many forums that have popped up on the topic – the current numbers are all over the place).
Some lives are lost in suicide, but many are accidental – the winds are very strong in this region – and the cliff edge VERY narrow and at points very slippery. Indeed it is highly dangerous, and I really do NOT recommend you walk out along the edge, as we were about to do (and will not do again).
So what about this dream that drew us out here to walk far further than we felt comfortable, across a very dangerous precipice?
It was a different era – a few hundred years ago, perhaps. I was running from a small dark stone ‘castle’ (it had turrets), it was behind me. To the left of me were steep cliffs dropping hundreds of feet to the ocean, and to the right and in front of me were green fields.
I ran through the fields in my bed clothes, hair untied, frantically crying and in the most extreme emotional pain. I throw myself onto an outcropping of rocks that were likely piled while clearing the fields.
I cry and cry and cry, the deepest sorrow – and then I wake up. The dream is so real that upon waking I am crying. The feeling of deep sadness and loss lasts almost all day. The dream repeats over and over through many years of my life until one night – after about a decade – I finally see the end;
I am crying at the rocks, laying over them. I feel like I cannot go on ‘under these circumstances’. I look ahead of me at the massive crescent shaped length of cliff that curves out to the left of me and drops into the ocean.
I walk through the field to the edge – the incredibly steep edge that drops hundreds (700?) of feet, turn around, and throw myself regretfully crying aloud, backwards off of the cliff.
I remember falling and praying to God for forgiveness for what I was doing – and then nothing.
When I finally saw a photo of the cliffs of Moher, I was convinced that this must have been the place I last lived – and took my own life. I needed to go to the tower and see the landscape.
Was it the tower/castle from my dream? I already didn’t think so – as my ‘memory’ tells me the castle was not just a tower, but a small stone building with turrets. The cliffs however, seemed exactly like the dream and I just had to know. So, a 15 km walk, it was.
Yes, I had already tried once to get out to the end of the Moher – but I had come alone and relied upon a tour to get me there – and had highly underestimated the time it would take to get across the precarious terrain. Not only did I NOT make it to my destination, I was almost left behind!
I had to run about 3.5 km (a great feat for very out of shape me!) back to the honking and circling tour bus – that would have left without me (by the drivers own account), had I not told my dream to a nice random American tourist – who recognized I was not on the bus when they left the lot. Serendipity? I say so!
A story that should serve as a great warning for fellow lone travellers – it would NOT be good to be left behind at the Cliffs of Moher. You might die of exposure from the elements!
The area is remote and under serviced. Certainly there was not a hotel within walking distance, or a place to eat after the cafeteria serving the tourist attraction closed. Talk to someone on the bus – so someone will remember you!
Now to undertake the walk on which I would nearly kill my new husband….
Additional photos in the slideshow.
- Cliffs of Moher (Wikipedia)
- Ballyvaughan and Lisdoonvarna Love (IRL ’10 Prt 4) (habitualrunaway.wordpress.com)