The Burren is a major karst landscape formation in County Clare, Ireland. One of my cycling books proposed a loop ride from Doolin, where we were staying.
So, after a substantial full Irish breakfast, off I went. First there was the climb out of Doolin, a slight miss of Lisdoonvarna, and into Kilfenora and the Burren centre.
Then I made a wrong turn, and about four miles later found myself at the wrong intersection entirely. So, back to Kilfenora and the getting of the correct directions!
The guidebook said I'd find Leahmaneh Castle, which I did. Basically a big house (Ruins, naturally) with cows grazing around it. Not worth stopping. On to Caran, and the heart of the Burren. Limestone hills everywhere; rolling countryside. Sunny day, too.
Continued north from Caran to the intersection with N67 (a national road) and Galway Bay.
From there I elected to head west, into Ballyvaughn for lunch (I'd been subsisting on chocolate bars and Nuun). Riding N67 wasn't that bad; Irish drivers are courteous. But the big buses and trucks on those skinny roads can be a bit intimidating. So, Ballyvaughn and the soda shop. I had a crepe and a salad and pink lemonade. And applied sunscreen (!) A nice pause.
From Ballyvaughn I took the coast road. The Burren extends right out to the Atlantic Ocean. The scenery was amazing. There was a headwind, so I didn't make particularly good time (the same can be said about all my riding in Ireland). More time to enjoy the view!
Then finally I had to turn inland and up.
The sign said Doolin to the right, and I kept thinking I'd be there. 2km more. Then 2km more.... Then 2km more.... If it had been flat or back downhill, it wouldn't have been quite so annoying. But I did get there, and treated myself to an ice cream cone before walking back up to the B&B.
All the pics here.
A nice 63 mile loop.