After we spend a pleasant night in Limerick, had a yummy breakfast and visited the city by walking and walking some more, we hopped into our Qashqai and headed west again.
distance: 100 km
route: about 1 hour 50 min
I had shown the kids some pictures of the Loop Head Peninsula and the cliffs and told them, that we were going on a boat tour, but no further details had been divulged !
It's only once we approached Carrigaholt Harbour and my oldest son spotted the sign of the boat company, that he yelled DOLPHINS!
And he was right. I had booked tickets for a sailing with Dolphinwatch, a family run business doing sailings to watch the dolphins in their area from April to Oktober depending on weather conditions and the tides.
It has been really an awesome experience, as we'd never seen dolphins in their natural environment before, and though I had been seasick and spend some time with a black bucket on my lap in a hidden corner on the boat and missed most of that part where we approached and learned about the cliffs, I would not want to miss this experience.
The crew was awesome, dog Minnie always around and we were given lots of information about the dolphins and the area. Even early mails, booking and scheduling was easy peasy and everything worked out perfectly.
Apparently the Wild Atlantic Way hosts the largest year-round population of dolphins in Europe.
Actually, Irish Government had declared Ireland's waters the first whale and dolphin sanctuary in Europe back in 1991 which makes the Wild Atlantic Way even a bit more special, as there is not only wild sea, majestic cliffs and but also plenty of beautiful creatures under the water surface to see. There are not only many dolphins living around the Irish cost, but as well whales and porpoises, some of them year-round as mentioned above, and some only migrating through these waters. Of all 25 species of aquatic mammals seen and registered in Irish waters, alone 17 have been seen along the Wild Atlantic Way.
The boat trip with Dolphinwatch was a successful surprise for the kids and a truly amazing and unforgettable experience.
Though I'm not quite sure what the kids will remember in 20 years, because right now, the fact that I vomited on the boat seems to be more impressive than the dolphins, as it's the first thing to tell everybody they meet !
Sea was a bit rough on that day (at least that's my excuse for my sea-sickness) and the dolphins didn't leap abundantly in joy, but nevertheless, I got some good shots, and we saw lots of activity and dolphins around the boat.
After our boat tour, we took a short walk through the village (this literally just takes minutes) up to the bridge and pier at the North end of Carrigaholt. The kids played around and we took some pictures and enjoyed the quietness.
We then headed to our B&B for that day: Glencarrig Farmhouse B&B, only 2 km outside Carrigaholt, where we were happily greeted by the owner Mary and offered homemade cake and coffee/tea as welcome treat.
The location and the scenery around the B&B are absolutely beautiful and quiet. The rooms are spacious, well furnished and really comfortable. We shared a twin room on the ground floor and a triple room on the upper level. An absolute highlight was the pool table and the nice shared living room.
Mary is the most friendly and delightful woman ever - it was a great pleasure meeting her, and to enjoy chatting with her about kids, recipes and the surroundings. Unfortunately we did not meet her husband.
I definitely recommend this B&B and hope we'll have a chance to stay at Glencarrig Farmhouse B&B again on a future trip.
Unfortunately we were not able to get a table for dinner at the highly praised local restaurant Long Dock Carrigaholt, as they take no reservations and it was completely full when we arrived.
Therefore I'd say: fortunately we didn't get a table at the highly praised local restaurant, so we drove up to Kilkee, had yummy dinner at Myle's Creek (loved my curry!), enjoyed Kilkee at dusk and stopped for a late-night-cake at The Strand (great food, friendly staff, awesome interior design and amazing view on the sunset on the beach) ! Great evening !
We then headed back for a good night's sleep at the Glencarrig Farmhouse B&B.
Stay tuned for day three - - -> online !
n.b.: if you'd like to know what the relation between Che Guevara and Ireland is, and why there is a huge portrait of him on Kilkee beach, please read this post.