July 31: Clifden

Breakfast at the Bayberry House B & B was the best we have had in the past three months. The sideboard was filled with fruit, compote, yogurts, nuts, cheeses, cereals, homemade granola, and juice. The owner made a creamy porridge served with warm fruit compote of apples and mixed berries—the combination of flavors tantalized the palate. The breadbasket overflowed with white and whole-grain toast, soda bread, and toasted hot-crossed buns; all accompanied with dishes of marmalade and raspberry jam. In addition, if we wanted, she would have cooked a traditional-Irish breakfast.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFortified, we left in a downpour to catch a bus to Clifden, the largest city in Connemara. On the way visibility was low. We passed lakes and mountains whose tops were enshrouded in clouds. We saw peat set out for drying, but becoming rain-drenched. Today’s plans for hiking no longer seem accomplishable. Since the weather will be noncompliant as well tomorrow, we booked a room (left) in the Vaughans Pub, Bistro, and Accommodations, one of the city’s oldest building, for three days; tomorrow will be a working day. Hopefully, on Friday we will be able to explore the area.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the evening,we went to several pubs to listen to the Irish music, have dinner, and relax. Dennis so enjoyed the singer, Pat Coyne, that he bought his CD. The second bar promised a band at 8-ish, but they were just setting up at 9 P.M when we left. The best music was at the last place we visited. As I looked at the older patrons (mostly tourists) who were singing traditional music, clapping to the rhythm, and obviously enjoying themselves, I tried to visualize them as younger pub-goers. Sometimes people retain their younger facial characteristics; other times they change completely.

In one bar, we were treated to a Sean-nós dance (Irish broom dance) by an award-winning performer who is also the bartender. I imagine if done improperly, the dancer could lose the family jewels as he quickly jumps over the broomstick while dancing.

About The Author

Jane V. Blanchard

I am an award-winning author of the "Woman On Her Way" book series, writing about my travel adventures. For more information on the books, please visit janevblanchard.com. I started the "Woman On Her Way" travel blog in 2013 to share my experiences as I explored 13 countries with my husband, traveling by ship, foot, bike, bus, train, and plane. Dennis and I continue to make memories and hope you will enjoy following along.

Subscribe to My Journal