We still got to see one of the most spectacular sights in Ireland though
. The Cliffs of Moher! They are an 8km long line of sheer ocean cliffs that get as high as 214m tall! Over twice the height of the Dun Aengus cliffs on the Aran Islands. The Cliffs of Moher are also home to over 20 species of birds that nest on the cliff faces. Our bus dropped us off at the tourist site, near O'Brien's Tower (a round stone tower built near the edge of the cliffs). The bus ride took just about two hours but it had wifi, so we were content. Joining us for the day was Peter, the Californian. Peter was staying in the same hostel room as us, and decided to come along. Jess and I were delighted to find out Peter is a big hockey fan (L.A. Kings of course). It's been a while since we got to talk hockey. Peter told us there is a possibility of another lockout!! He didn't care though because that meant the Kings can have the Stanley Cup for two years instead of one. Once the three of us got there, we made a quick pit stop in the exhibition building, which deserves a quick word by itself. It is an Eco-friendly building, built right into the side of the hill. It looked like a giant Hobbit house. We finished our pit stop and walked straight to O'Brien's Tower. The winds on the top of the cliffs were about 40km/hour, gusting to 70km/hour. The rain was coming down very close to horizontal. By the time we climbed all the steps to the tower, the back of my pants were soaked! Just the back though. Time to see how quick my quick dry pants actually are. The cliffs were breath taking!! Even in the rain. Especially in the rain! Layered rock millions of years old jutting out like a smoothed off jigsaw fading away to an endless swirling ocean. We came back down the stairs to go see the view the other way, this time with rain drops pelting against our faces and getting the front of our pants soaked. Jess headed back to the exhibition building, while Peter and I walked a bit further along the path
. After getting a little more soaked and taking in the view from the other side, Peter and I headed back to the Hobbit house too. Jess showed us some things in the exhibition and then went back out to see if she could get some better pictures. Pretty soon Jess came running back in like she just discovered the solution to world peace, yelling "the rain has stopped, and the wind has died down a bit." So we all went back outside. Way better visibily now. Peter and I kept going on the path we were before. Very shortly the concrete steps ended and the continuing path was only a little dirt trail on the top of the cliff. Tourists were allowed to walk on this path, but of course at their own risk. The trail was amazing! Great view! You don't actually realize how high you are until you can look straight down. When we got to a certain point, we could see all the cliff birds flying around. The trail was getting very muddy as more people were walking on it. Walking along the cliff, the trail inclined a little as we came to a hill. Since Peter had sandals on, we thought it might be a bit slippery, so we headed back. It would have been cool though, to keep going on a better day.
By the time our bus had gotten back to Galway, everyone's pants were dry. But socks and other pieces of clothing were a different story. Time to invest in some quick-dry boxers! Eight days in Ireland and we finally found out why it is so green. Time for a hot shower!
Our luck has run out, ha ha. The heavens have opened and we are soaked! Jess bought some rubber boots back in Kilkenny to take with her through the UK, and was starting to regret carrying the extra weight around because she had only used them once. But, they were definitely worth their keep today. She was the only one with dry feet when we got back on the bus from the Cliffs of Moher. We made a bit of a mistake on how we got to the Cliffs though. Everywhere else we have been, a tour has been more expensive than just straight transportation to a place. So, naturally Jess looked for bus fares first. Since it was raining, we didn't want to restrict our schedule and book a tour. It turns out the tour fee was a bit cheaper then our direct bus, and with the tour, you got to stop at a couple other places along the way. Oh well, live and learn.