To quote The Irish Times: “The word unprecedented is a bit overused. But the amount of rain we have had is truly unprecedented.” And the wind was as well, with gusts up to 70kph, which is almost 45mph.
This morning, at 7:00am a huge, very old tree next to the hotel, blew down with a thunderous, earth-shaking noise.
The 3.5 hour ride from Killarney to the Cliffs of Moher included a ferry, somewhat rough seas, and lots of wind and rain.
I love how the Irish have structured the visitors’ center at the Cliffs of Moher. It’s built into the hillside so you don’t even see it. They have also built a hidden stone wall (about 4.5 to 5 feet high) along the cliffs‘s edge so people don’t fall to their deaths. I’ve seen pictures shot before the stone wall was in place that absolutely terrified me of this place!
However, the wind gusts were unparalleled in my entire life experience on this earth. I’m rather confident they significantly exceeded the 70kph gusts that were forecast back in the Killarney area. A couple of times, I simply could not stop or walk. The wind blew me so hard, I was forced to begin running and leaning back and down into the wind, or I would have been blown completely off my feet without doubt. If the stone wall had not been in place, I would have been terrified beyond belief!
The distance to the ocean below is significant, as you can see. (Unfortunately I’m not posting any pictures with people in them right now. That would give a sense of scale. Just think “tiny dots.”) Yet the wind blew the foaming, frothing ocean up the sides of the cliff where it rained down on everyone. At first I couldn’t figure out what it was: snow? ice? Then a giant piece of the foam landed in front of me. Also, the wind would actually blow water up the side of the cliff and onto everyone. You can see it prominently in two of the pictures below. Amazing!
This was a spectacular display from Mother Nature!
Here are a few pictures to whet your interest for the Ireland photo album. Click to enlarge.