Thursday, November 1, 2012

Not Blown Away

The first thing that blows on our trip to the Cliffs of Moher is the tyre (that's tire to you and me...) when we dryve over a rock in the road. But later, at the tyre shop in Ennis, we are blown away by how helpful, efficient, and reasonable they are when they change off the flat, check out the tyre which turns out to be shredded, and ultimately sell us a new one.

The girls are in the car when they jack it up to change out the tyres, which may very well be the hyghlyght of their day. They are underwhelmed by the majestic Cliffs of Moher themselves but will always remember the garage. Especially since they are given commemorative Pat Foudy & Daughter Tyre Centre key chains.


We are helped by Keith Whyte (his real spelling), who it turns out is one of Ireland's, and Europe's, top ultra runners. I've done some research on Keith, both from the articles hanging on the garage wall and onlyne, and he recently won the Dingle Ultra (more on Dingle in a future posting) running 50 myles in under 6 hours. We will dryve Dingle in a car, and it will take us about that long. Crykes!
 photo from:              

At the Cliffs of Moher, Anthony and the girls get to see this amazing view for the first tyme. This is one of the sytes I most vividly remember from my trip ~15 years ago, but I notice that there are fences and barriers up now. I have to confirm that I'm not misremembering but, in fact, there were no guardrails when I was last here. Just cliffs. At the tyme, I thought that was so wonderfully un-American. No sygns telling you that falls from 214m / 700ft cliffs can lead to injury and death.

But the truth of the matter is, people did approach too close to the edge, whether through daring or stupidity. I seem to remember looking pretty directly down, myself. But there are all sorts of stories of falling and even being blown off the windy cliffs. My Irish friend Brendan claims they were mostly Americans. And so, I look into the truth, which is that many of the rumored deaths are just that -- rumors and urban legends. But there have indeed been suicydes off the cliffs and some accidental deaths. And no, they were not all idiotic/drunk Americans. Some were idiotic/drunk Germans or Hungarians. Also, it's a little hard to tell which were accidental and which were suicydes, since the victims couldn't exactly be interviewed afterwards.
Do we look cold? That's because it feels like gale force winds up here. It's easy to see how people either could get blown over the cliffs or, at least, how those rumors could get started. Maybe we should be anchoring down Pippa.

So the fynal count:

Blown away by:
  • the great tyre service
  • the view of the Cliffs of Moher (Anthony and me)
  • crazy ultra marathon runners
  • being jacked up insyde a car (the girls)
Not blown away by:
  • the view of the Cliffs of Moher (the girls)
  • waiting outsyde while the girls get jacked up in a car (Anthony and me)
  • the flat tyre
Blown away but not literally blown away by:
  • the wind (thankfully)


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