Ireland Day 12 - Impressive County Mayo

Wednesday, 20 September 2023 22:01

I had not heard the name County Mayo mentioned by those who had visited Ireland but it has been a revelation. So much less busy than Kerry and Clare but with wonderful, if less spectacular, coastal scenery and a hinterland of blanket bog dotted with loughs and little towns. I took in some of its beauty traveling north from Westport along the coast before dashing east to my overnight stop in Ballena. As in recent posts I will caption groups of photos to connect them to locations and events starting at the quay in Westport. The headline image is from Achill Island at the white cliffs. A wonderful place enhanced by the stormy conditions. I have commented on how easy keeping the car charged has been but today was my first real issue. The charger in Ballena working with the car would only deliver about half the normal charge rate. This is important for two reasons. One, half rate means charging for twice as long and two, the ESB chargers, like the Chargeplace Scotland locations, permit a maximum of 45 minutes on a charger before a significant penalty is charged. I totally agree with this procedure as with limited chargers it attempts to allow the maximum users access. Generally 45 minutes would allow me to add between 45 and 50% charge giving me around 240 km here in Ireland. A call to their support team resulted in a quirky plan. After the allowed 45 minutes disconnect, wait 5 minutes, and start again which is what I did. Fortunately there was no-one waiting to use the charger. This was not dead time as I uploaded and catalogued the day's photos on the laptop and started editing and selecting them. This time would have been spent at the hotel anyway. I hope this is an isolated instance which has happened just once before on a charger in the UK.

As noted this is the quay at Westport

This is downtown Westport in between the showers this morning.

In between the showers the countryside was a picture along the road north towards Dooega and Achill Island.

Peat cutting is still carried out on the bog and there was evidence in many places

This is typical of the blanket bog which I passed through

This is Dooega on Achill Island, again between the frequent and always heavy showers.

Here are the white cliffs of Assleagh with Dooega in the background

The weather was changing very quickly as the strong wind whisked the rain showers in from the Atlantic

There was a large grouup of teenage schoolgirls off for a hike and boy were they going to get soaked.

This just left a minibus tour group , a german couple from Darmstadt and me. The German chap was stopping at the same places as me and taking the same photos. We compared notes.:-)

Around the bottom of the island there is a ruined tower, the Towerhouse,  and much more important an excellent cafe. In fact it was run by a Colombian lady serving an excellent Americano for €3. An excellent find.

A regular hazzard, appart from the local drivers who, of course, own the road and usher us visitors off it to avoid head-on impact, is flocks of  local sheep.

Travelling under your own steam creates opportunities. to stop when you see something odd or interesting or both. Here is a local lad who was  flyweight boxing champion of the world from 1912 to 1923, Johnny Killane

After Achill Island I headed north again via Ballycroy National Park with another impressive visitor centre and a lovely gate guardian

The rain showers were never far away and that is the way that I was headed

My final stop after brief stops at lovely empty beaches was at Blacksod and its lighthouse and a not so ancient stne spiral created from stones at its loation in 1993

There was an interesting thing at my "slow” charger in Ballena, one of quite a few Ukrainian registered vehicles that I have seen and this one on an AC charger. I am in my 5 minute down time