Today I did something I have been dreaming about for years. I hiked the Cliffs of Moher. And yes it was, quite, a hike! Admission to the Cliffs was a reasonable 8 Euros a person to enter the car park. After parking your car you cross the road to the most amazing view of the cliffs.
The path separates the cliffs to the right and to the left. We decided to start on the right side and check out the visitor center. The center contained a gift shop, coffee shop, interactive exhibits and a restaurant. We strolled around looking at the beautiful shots of the cliffs and surrounding caves as well as had some fun with some of the interactive displays.
In the gift shop Sheila was able to enter her family name in a computer and she found her family crest and history. For 20 Euros you can get a print out of a beautiful scroll to frame.
One of the interactive displays allowed you to pick a scene and step in front of the camera to get your picture on a postcard which you can then email to yourself. That was a blast!
Once we left the visitor center it was off to begin our climb. Again, the first part of the climb was steep and boy did we feel the burn. Eventually it leveled off somewhat but it was still a lot of uphill walking.
Our first stop was O'Brien's tower which was built in 1835. It was a reasonable 2 Euro per person to go into the tower and climb the dangerously narrow and steep staircases to the top of the tower but again, so well worth it! the view from the top of the tower was amazing.
As we left the tower we continued our climb to the cliffs, there were two paths you could take the safe gully path that was away from the cliffs edge, or the what I liked to call the "look mom no railings" route. This was a compact dirt path about 4-5 feet wide in good spots and less in some areas. in multiple areas along this path you were maybe 5-6 feet from the edge of the Cliff and you guessed it there are no barricades or railings. You slip and fall to the left, that's all she wrote.
I stayed to the right of the path as the wind was gusty but fortunately it was blowing in from the ocean not the other way around. A few times I did venture closer to the edge making Sheila a little nervous, but I ain't stupid, I stayed a safe enough distance as not so slip and fall off. You wouldn't believe some of the idiots, who sat on the edge or ventured down the side to get pictures. I expected to hear that one of these idiots fell off.
We continued our climb up to the top of the right side and then I ventured out onto a large shelf to get some pictures, as Sheila stayed back pacing like a mother tiger, watching her cub. As we headed back down there was a lot of congestion on the outside path and it was much safer to take the gully path. One idiot bumps it would be a long way down.
We went back to the visitor center and split a ham and butter sandwich, which as actually quite good. I had a cappuccino, which I eventually spilt all over the outside table we were eating on. Which was a shame as it was a dam good cappuccino!
Then we were off to the tackle the left side of the cliffs. Again steep incline at the bottom but after that the uphill climb wasn't to bad. This path was narrower and the wind direction was slightly different so we took the gully path up with me venturing out to the cliff path to get videos and pictures. We weren't sure if we were going to make it to the top but we just kept on going for it every time we hit a plateau. There is nothing greater than the satisfaction of knowing you took on a challenge and conquered it.
There are no words to describe the magnificence and beauty of the Cliffs of Moher, it was everything I imagined and so much more. As I stood there on the top of the Cliffs looking out over the ocean, I couldn't help but think of Jack. As I did so the sun shone brightly from behind the clouds and I knew he was with me, smiling down on me and proud that I was living my life.