Refreshed and ready to continue my journey through Ireland, still with no set route or destination, I head downstairs to breakfast were I was met by the bnb owner and other guest. The weather outside was dreadful; the calm seas from the previous day were a black churning mess, and the rain was coming in sideways.
With slight post traumatic stress from the day before, I was not looking forward to getting back in the car, especially in this weather, but I was looking forward to my next destination. I set my sights on Cashel in Co. Tipperary. It seemed like the ‘safest’ bet as Cork was underwater due to a flood, Waterford was also having some issues with flooding and snow was coming down in Killarney.
The plan I made was to get to Cashel, find a place to stay, and head to Galway the next day. At the time, it was sunny in Galway. Saying good-bye to my new friends from Moneyland Farm, I started off back down the one lane dirt road but was met by the bnb owner’s husband. Backing up and pulling to the side, I rolled down the window to say thank you and goodbye. He asks where I am going, when I told him Cashel he gasped, and said, “That is 4 hours away”. I nodded and he just looked at me. I told him, it would be fine, he nodded, wished me well and we both continued on our way.
With trepidation already in the pit of my stomach, I questioned if I should continue on to Cashel. Putting that feeling back in a vault in my mind, I kept going and stuck to my plan. 6 hours later I arrived in Cashel. Because of the weather, road conditions and a spotty GPS, I arrived 2 hours later than planned.
Seeing signs for Cashel made every km driven worth it. So why Cashel? In my research on places to go the Rock of Cashel stood out. A grand structure, with a rich history dating back to the 5th century. Cashel is the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century. In 11o1 the King of Munster donated the fortress to the church where there now stands the round tower c. 1100, Cormac’s Chapel (under restoration now) c. 1127 and The Cathedral built between 1235 and 1270.
The structure looms over the town of Cashel, a town that shouldn’t be missed. If you spend at least 15 euro in town, you get free entrance to the “Rock”. The town is friendly, and has plenty of places to stay, eat and have a pint. Deciding to take a day and a half to spend in the area was worth the drive, even through the sideways rain and gale force winds.
Tip: If you leave the Rock and take a right down the paved path and at the end of the path take a right and continue down, you will see ruins of Hore Abbey. This is about a 15 minute walk. You can drive down there but with the walk you get the grand spectacle of the Rock.