Day 4 - Cliffs of Moher and Hunt for Yogi and Stephan

Doolin Travel Blog

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Sept. 8, 2007:  Day 4 - Cliffs of Moher and Hunt for Yogi and Stephan

 

            The day started at 8am with a shower, green apple and the equivalent of a Nutri-Grain bar.  I needed my energy since we’d be hiking the Cliffs of Moher.

            Carrie and Gabby had rented a car in Galway and had to return it later that day.  So they were going to just tour the Cliffs briefly.  We (Carrie, Gabby, Yogi, Stefan, Justin and I) decided to drive up to the Visitor Center, and split up after walking around a bit.

            When we got there we paid the €8 parking fee and headed on over to the Cliff’s edge.

            The Cliffs of Moher stretch on for a good 7-8 miles with sheer drops of over 500 feet to the Atlantic Ocean below.  Green grazing pastures with cattle line the edge.  Dotting the edge are also a few old and abandoned watch towers.  The one near the Visitor Center is the most visited, but we saw one in the distance that caught our eye as a hiking goal.  The hostel receptionist told us it was about three miles from the Visitor Center to that far-off tower.  He didn’t mention that the path was right on the edge, and that there was a sign saying “Private Property.

  No Trespassing”.

            Due to the trespassing sign, Carrie and Gabby said their goodbyes after touring the Visitor Center area.  It was nice to meet them and I might stay with Carrie in Australia when I’m there in April/May.

            Since Yogi is afraid of heights, he did not want to hike the trail that was private property.  But Justin and I were eager to do it.  How often is one able to hike along the Cliffs of Moher for three miles to an abandoned tower on the Atlantic Ocean?  So we said goodbye to them too and said we’d meet up with them later in the evening.

            Now we asked if the No Trespassing sign was really enforced.

  The tourist center employee did not say yes and therefore we took that as a no.

            The hike out to the tower was breathtaking.  Normally it would be overcast, but we got lucky and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.  We started the hike around 11am with the sun on our left as we hiked south along the edge.

            Small rocks could be seen just below the water’s surface.  Seagulls and other birds could be seen flying in between the water and the top of the Cliffs.  We were one of only a handful of people hiking the trail, and we were alone at the watch tower. 

            Justin and I talked extensively and got to know each other pretty well.

  We have a lot in common; religion and adventure being two major commonalities.

            The tower had no markings or a plaque describing it, and it was in poor shape with no roof and the walls crumbling near the top.  It stood about 50 feet tall, square shaped with a width of about 15 feet.  It stood no less than 30 feet from the edge of the cliff.  I took in a large breath of ocean-smelling air as I admired the view.

            The way back seemed shorter, as is normally the case.  We passed by many more people and when we got back to the start there were hundreds of tourists walking past the “No Trespassing” sign.  I guess they all assumed the same as us.

            We started to hike back into Doolin along the road, but my shoulders were aching from the backpack’s straps digging in over the previous six miles.

  So for the first time in both of our lives we hitch-hiked.

            It took about 15 cars to pass us with our thumbs out until one stopped.  Justin was doing most of the thumbing and had just given up after they passed when I saw they were stopping up ahead.  We ran to their car and got in, thanking them as we did.

            They were a couple from Ireland, staying in Doolin near us.  So they were able to drop us off right in front of our hostel.  On their radio we heard a song from the US that would end up instigating much laughter and pain over the next few days; “Beautiful Girls” by Sean Kingston.  I’ll explain fully in a later blog.

            Hiking makes one hungry, and due to not having eaten much prior to the hike, we gorged ourselves with pasta.

 

            After a power nap and some relaxation we began the search for Yogi and Sefan.  They were supposed to be back from the Aran Islands around 7pm and so we stopped at their hostel at the time, but they were not there so the manager said.

            We got a tip from two guys in our hostel room that the two pubs down the street, away from the water, were quite good and known for their local atmosphere.  Justin and I walked down to one of them, McGann’s, and had a pint each while watching Ireland play Slovakia. 

            The rest of the night consisted of Justin and I walking around Doolin trying to find the German guys with no success.

  Every time we went by their hostel the manager said they were out. 

            At around 9:30pm they came to our hostel and told us how they had been at their hostel since about 6pm.  That stinking hostel manager had gotten it all wrong and had caused Justin and I to walk about 3 miles in total for nothing! 

We all said goodnight around 10:30pm since we were tired from the day’s walking. 

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Doolin
photo by: chrisrae