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Archive for August 18th, 2008

 

The Cliffs of Moher on the Western Coast of Ireland

The Cliffs of Moher on the Western Coast of Ireland

One or two tourists plummet to their deaths on the rocky shores below and suddenly it is no longer “safe”. Luckily for me my tour guide in Ireland was not particularly fond of rules or regulations, in fact I could go as far as to say he did not like them one bit. Instead of leading us bravely along the newly built tourist area he dropped us off in a sheep field only to drive off. He might have been laughing, or it could have been the sheep.

Our instructions: Walk down the path until you reach a barb wire fence, follow the fence for sixty, no, one hundred meters until you guys reach a wooden stool that will let you step over the fence. Once over the fence follow it down towards the cliff edge, eventually you will reach another fence. Follow this along the edge of the cliff to the left. After a bit you will climb over the fence again this time to a path. Follow the path along the cliff, enjoy the views, and finally go over the safety wall into the official area.

None of us really remembered it past the first fence. But it is hard to get lost when your options are: away from ocean, away from big cliffs, towards ocean and towards big cliffs. The fields were surprisingly spares in the way of sheep, their presence however was evident.

More astonishing then the cliffs themselves was the unregulated nature of the paths (from someone who lived in Safety World). The cliffs were very shear with plenty of sharp pointy rocks at the bottom. My favorite edge was a flat slab of stone with a slight undercut. I wanted to look over the edge, with the wind gusting in every direction at once I thought it best to not stand at the edge and lean over. I might drop my camera that way. I crawled to the edge and managed a peek over.

The remainder of the path wound along the edge, going from a foot to half a dozen from the edge. After a few iffy gusts of wind the group made it to the official area. The official area was no fun what so ever. In the name of safety there exists three foot high slabs of slate holding back a grassy burm that creates a nice good four feet between the edge and themselves. There was also a gift store, gotta love gift stores.

If I had only gone to the official area I would not like the Cliffs of Moher, in fact they would have been nothing more then a photo in a string of camera stops. It might have helped that I had a nice clear day, surprising how those sometimes seem to help.

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