We have been driving for two weeks clock-wise around Ireland and now are opposite Dublin on the west coast.
We took some back roads from Kylemore Abbey to Westport through some remote and rugged mountainous country of County Mayo. I am glad to see that even in a country as old as Ireland, there are still wild and unspoiled areas. We drove for about an hour without seeing a single house, which amazed us. We have been saying it for the last two weeks, but Ireland truly is a beautiful country.
Eventually, we came back to the main road and continued north at a faster pace. Westport is one of Ireland’s coastal resort towns. It was rated in 2012 as the Best Place to Live in Ireland by the Irish Times. Irish beach goers flock to it during the summer to catch some sun rays, splash in the water, and enjoy the local restaurants. Since we are traveling in early June, we have fortunately missed the beach crowds, so we largely had the area to ourselves.
We were pretty hungry from driving, not that sitting in a car burns much calories, so looked for a place to eat. Westport boasts some very good restaurants and pubs, which made choosing just one difficult. We selected JJ O’ Malleys, Westport’s most famous bar and restaurant (self-proclaimed).
We made the right decision! The food was outstanding. We all ordered some type of seafood entree caught fresh in the nearby Atlantic Ocean. My sea-bass special was particularly delicious. The atmosphere is also amazing. It is a combination of rustic old-world charm and authentic Irish warmth. The staff was very friendly too. This was one of our best meals in Ireland.
After dinner, we decided to call an early day and head for our B&B. Collette Moran’s home was definitely off the beaten path, but well-worth the extra effort. Her home was immaculate and comfortable. We loved that it was out in the country with awesome views of the mountains and farmland. We all slept very soundly. This is our last night in the Republic of Ireland for a while. Our next B&B will be in Derry, Northern Ireland.
STILL LOVING IRELAND!