7th Stop in Ireland: Connemara and Westport
Updated: Oct 18, 2019
Unplanned, we found ourselves in a beautiful area of western Ireland.
We left Inis Mor early on May 12th and ferried back to Galway. Now, we knew that our final stop that night would be in Donegal, but we really didn't know what we wanted to do in between. We figured we would need to eat lunch at some point, and after some helpful advice from a staff member at a local shop, we decided we would drive to Westport.
We knew the trip from Galway to Westport would take us 1.5 hours, and we would be leaving county Galway and entering county Mayo. We also knew that we would be driving through Connemara. What we did not realize is that we would actually be driving through the mountain ranges of Connemara's national park. It came out of nowhere. At one point we were driving a flat road with hills in the distance, the next minute we were in the valley of two mountainous peaks that were covered in pastures and small distant villages. It was incredible.
As we drove through the winding roads, we stopped periodically to take photos of the landscape. It just left us in awe. Every so often we would pass through a small town, comprised of a single block, and say to one another, "next time we have to find a place to stay here!" We passed a handful of road bikers and dodged little sheep (and their babies!!!!) that were tanning on the warm pavement. It was as if we were in a scene of a movie.
When we reached our destination, we found ourselves in a bustling town. Westport was a lot more modern than the places we had stayed the five days. We found a small car park and walked into the town's center. The day was sunny and warm. An area in front of a line of restaurants was set up for live music. We planned to grab a beer and food, and we figured we would sit outside with the crowd that was gathering around the band. Unfortunately our plans didn't go as smoothly as we had hoped. When ordering our beers we went to pay with a card- supposedly this is not a form of payment that happens often. The bar tender tried multiple times to run our card, but the system just wasn't picking up the internet necessary to process the payment. We had no cash on hand, and no cash card. Ash, being the logical human they are, decided to download a card app on their phone, and in the end it worked perfectly and we were able to pay for our pints. Our advice: ALWAYS have cash on hand.
Ash really enjoyed Westport, and we stayed for a couple of hours listening to live music. Had we known about this place ahead of time, we would have planned more time for us to explore it. Unfortunately, we still had a 2.5 hour drive to Donegal, and we wanted to get to the city before restaurants closed for dinner, so we walked to our car and made our way northeast on the N15 towards our final destination.
Has anyone stayed in the Connemara mountains or the town of Westport? Where were your accommodations? What did you do and see? What recommendations would you make to those looking to travel to either one of these places? Please send your advice our way, we would love to hear from you!
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