Hammertime! We loved this stop sign on the smallest of small roads.
On our third day in Ireland we venture out into County Mayo. We leave Castlebar and head north toward Ballina, but stopping first in Foxford to check out the Foxford Woollen Mills Visitor Centre. This mill was founded in 1892 by a local nun who made it her mission to put the idle hands of Foxford to work doing something productive. I was super excited because this was the first time I wanted to purchase souveniers. Beautiful woollen scarves and blankets were available and I wanted them all. We were able to take the 40 minute automated tour that was silly and informative all at once! After making our purchases we set back off to see the Ceide Fields and the Atlantic Ocean.
Driving north and up hills, getting colder and colder we found the Ceide Fields with the breathtaking views. The visitor center was closed (boooooo! Our luck since it isn't tourist season we've found many place to be closed or close early). Nonetheless we were able to pull over and take some great photos of the crashing surf of the Atlantic.
We decide to continue on, rather than back track, and drive around the outer rim of
County Mayo. Low and behold, moments after leaving the Ceide Fields, we encounter our first sheep in the road instance! Yay! They were so friendly, they immediately parted and let us through, but only after we got some cute shots of them.
Onward we went towards Mullet Peninsula, and I'm getting hungrier and hungrier and grouchier and grouchier by the moment. Someone (Greg) doesn't always eat lunch, so someone (Greg) can go 5+ hours without food. Me, not so much. As the driver, he decides to make and abrupt right turn, off the track to our next destination, and in persuit of what he thinks is the direction of a "castle." Nope. We do find a cool graveyard and continue on to the end of this road which ends at Portacloy. Beautiful quaint little town that ends at a small, secluded beach on the North Atlantic. After a few pictures in the freezing cold, we turn around and head back towards our next town and where I hope is food. Greg, at this time, also hopes there is food, so I'll be in a better mood.
We finally find the Mullet Peninsula and stop at Belmullet. We
find a great little pub in which we order a Guinness and Hawaiian Panini. YUMMY! Belmullet also had a fantastic view of both the Atlantic and the Blacksod Bay.
We are on our way back to Castlebar with one last stop in Westport, which lies on the shore of Clew Bay. Very cute little town with a tree-lined mall and pubs galore.
During the entire trip, it was a joy to be able to stop whenever wanted for a pint. Pubs were available almost upon request. Since there are no major roads we were constantly traveling through little towns and able to pull over and enjoy a pint. Lovely!
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