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Saturday, May 25

Today dawned clear and sunny but that soon deteriorated to intermittent rain for the morning's ride, and then to rain and temps in the low 40's for the afternoon's ride. Once we arrived in Killarney, the sun came out and the sky cleared again, though the temperature is still below 50F.

Because of yesterday's evil weather, Kate lobbied successfully that we should back-track a little and visit the Cliffs of Moher, on the west coast to the north of us in Bunratty. So we got as early a start as possible from Bunratty and headed north-west. The ride up was mostly pleasant, with only intermittent rain showers. The Cliffs were spectacular but the picture doesn't do it justice (they never do). The rain held off until we left the Cliffs, and we had heavier but still intermittent rain on the ride down to the ferry landing near Killimer.

We arrived at the ferry landing at 11:55, just in time for the noon run across the Shannon river to Tarbert. We hit a brief spot of sunshine at the midpoint of the river crossing. We stopped for lunch at Enright's restaurant in downtown Tarbert, where we met Bruce, Brenda, Dave, and Barbara on their way south from Foynes. Another restaurant whose interior we left considerably wetter than we found it. After lunch, we headed east by north-east to Foynes to visit the Flying Boat museum. Foynes was the western terminus of flying boats coming from Botwood, Newfoundland during the period roughly 1935 to 1945. On the AMA tour of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, we visited the Botwood Flying Boat museum, so symmetry demanded we visit Foynes also. This museum is less grand than the one in Botwood but still worth a visit if you're in the area.

We left Foynes in a steady, cold rain and I became quite uncomfortable as my hands got cold wearing insulated rain gloves as well as glove liners. Kate plotted a very nice route south from Foynes that took us on some smaller local routes down to where we joined the N22 and N21 to Killarney, but due to my discomfort I arrived in Killarny tired and out of sorts.

After a two hour or so nap and dinner with the tour group I was feeling my old self again, more or less. Retired to our room early where I wrote this diary (to 5-25) and Kate fell asleep reading.

The Cliffs of Moher, west coast of Ireland