Enniscrone, and the scary hairy big Black Pig

This village is called by many names, Enniscrone, Inniscrone, Inishcrone, Inis Crabhann or Inis Eascair Abhainn. Whatever the name, our sat-nav had difficulty finding any of these anyway, so we entered the name of a town, hopefully nearby, then relied on a concertina road map. It was quite crinkled by now because it was more in use than that ‘talking-too-much-and-getting-us-lost’ little gadget! Yep, back to the roots! Enniscrone, most road signs said Inniscrone, despite its size, boasts a big golf course and a five kilometre sandy beach. The first thing you notice though, when you enter Enniscrone, is the huge Black Pig! It is actually a one and a half metre high sculpture, which simply cannot be missed. Legend has it that a wild poisonous boar, with magical powers and long black hairy bristles, killed everyone in its path, until it reached Enniscrone. After recovering from their fright, the people, using long-handed spears and poles, ran it out of town and killed it. The second thing you notice, is even though there is only one main road, is that you still can get lost. The third thing you notice are all the warning signs every metre or two on the beach or public areas of a three thousand euro fine if your dog dares to poop anywhere, yet you see lots of dog poo. Everywhere! One lady actually parked her big Volvo on the verge of the road, directly next to the beach, AND a huge warning sign, let her dog out, and gave it two toe-tapping minutes to lift it’s tail to poop n pee. She did not even look ashamed or scared to be caught…

This old Cliffs Bath House, used for seaweed baths, was built on these rocks in 1850 and not long afterwards it was damaged by a hurricane. It is not in use today, but further along this beach is the famous seaweed baths of Enniscrone, where the water used is warmed and taken directly from the ocean a few metres away, as well as all the seaweed! Healthy!

As the beach was directly in front of our accommodation, we walked this way to go to the centre of the busy little village. It was an easy and short uphill walk. Too short for huffing or puffing!  😉 The weather was not warm enough for a dip, but there were one or two brave surfers out there, even though there was not a single wave to be seen…


There is also a long and well-pathed coastal walkway, which seems to be very popular with the locals. What a lovely way to keep fit and healthy with all that fresh air and breath-taking views of the Atlantic ocean. We sat on one of these benches to have a little foodie nibble before we set out to do the walk. After eating full Irish breakfasts for five days, every bit of exercise was welcome! Cliff hanging, rock hopping or knees shaking does not count as exercise by the way 😉

When the tide is out, the beach is quite vast. We walked right up to the edge where sea meets sand, and it really felt as if we were embarking on a journey to America hee-heeeee! We were also not the only ones having fun, as you can see. These two children were having such fun crossing the Bellawaddy river as it pours itself into the ocean. Don’t worry, it was really shallow and slow flowing, so not dangerous at this time…

The view from the old Cliff Bath House. These rocks are completely covered when the tide comes in, which was also fascinating to watch. The rectangular pool on the right is man-made and carved out of the rocks. It was used by the Baths as a fresh seawater supply when the tide was out. Apparently one can hunt for crabs here too…

 

These steps are used to reach the road above from the beach, and only when the tide is low. They are quite slippery too. The ‘red carpet’ for Mermaids perhaps?

This little pier was built between 1884 and 1887, and the coastal walkway passes here.

Rock hopping in the Burren

After three days of cliffs, whiffs and singing Irishmen, we set out on the next leg of our road-trip, to Enniscrone. We will try to get there before midnight, wink-wink…not an easy feat though, because there is so much to see on the way. It was such a lovely time so far, and we managed to stay on the left side of the road, even gave way to a sheep or two…

The Burren, what an amazing rocky landscape! This area really brings out the child in you. It was such fun hopping from rock to rock, scrambling up or down, thereby trying not to fall into a crevice. We could have done this the whole day!!! All the above photos were taken at the famous headland called Black Head. “Some-one” translated it this way, because the Irish name actually means Burren Head…apparently…

This Dolmen is also in the Burren, and is called the Poulnabrone, which “some-one” again, apparently, “wrongly” translated as the “Hole of Sorrows”. The translation seems to have stuck though…We must also add that there are much nicer and more interesting Dolmens than this one…but this one is in all the travel books, go figure… 

And just in case you think that nothing grows in the Burren, here is proof that there are really pretty flowers to be found. The left are Orchids, and the right are blue Gentians. There’s a famous song in Germany about these…okay, so it’s an OLD famous song… “Ja, ja, so blau, blau, blau blüht der Enzian …” or something like that…No, no, not translating it…ja-ja-ja-ja…tra-la-laaaaaa.

Okay, there are not only sheep in Ireland, hee-haw-hee-haw-hee-haw! Kiss me cutie-pie!

 

After visiting the Dolmen, we ignored the Sat-Nav, and took what we thought would be an interesting road. A few metres and the knees started shaking. Not a good thing if you’re the driver, but try to get a big red car up an ultra-narrow, super curvy and extremely steep road. See left photo…So steep that all you can basically see on your way up is the shiny bonnet of your complaining hire car. Added to that, there are high stone walls or big fat hedges on both sides. So yes, PRAY that there’s no oncoming traffic, not even a sheep, cow or rabbit. After a few expletives, we reached the top, and halleluja! we were rewarded with the the most fantastic views of all the green fields below. There is a God!

After a hearty meal to soothe our shocked nerves, it was all downhill from there, smile. The photo on the left was taken of Bell Harbour, which appeared immediately after we exited a sharp curve. Sea-level at last!!

It took us only nine Angels Travelling hours to get from Doolin to Enniscrone, also driving through the wonderful Connemara. Good timing we would say, seeing as we purposely avoided the three hour direct route on the highway. We would not have had so much fun otherwise, not so? Another thing that has to be said is that driving through the Connemara is definitely recommended for those who are sleepless in Seattle, as there are sheep everywhere. Left, right, front, back, one, two, three, four…ZZZZZ…Määäää…and the little lambs were just too cute! We arrived in Enniscrone just after 8pm, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (we’re not one of those sleepless people) GOT LOST (even though there’s only one main street, but still) then booked into this marvellous Boutique Accommodation. And the glossy red number parked next to it is ours…but only for three weeks…

Aaaaaaahhhhh! BIG BIG HAPPY SIGH. This was our amazing sunset welcome.