Day 4 - Tuesday

Distance Options: A 12 Miles B 20 Miles C 34 Miles D 45 Miles

Accommodation : Royal Spa Hotel, Lisdoonvarna

We have some spectacular scenery for you today. The Atlantic coast will be your constant companion for the 18 miles of the route. As if that wasn't enough this section is largely downhill finishing in the harbor village of Ballyvaughen. If you were only going to cycle 18 miles today then this last section is the what I would advise you to ride. The views and vistas along this section are unmatched. This section of coastal road takes you into Ballyvaughen. I would then suggest taking a 6 mile transfer that will take you up a substantial elevation to the location of one of the several megalithic tombs in the region. From this location you recommence cycling trough the heart of the Burren.

Following a series of tiny roads you navigate your way back to the village of Lisdoonvarna, home to the largest matchmaking festival in Europe.

You will also get to visit one of the most striking Neolithic burial places in Europe today called Poulnabrone.This tomb was in use during the Neolithic and radiocarbon dates place its use between 3,800 - 3,600 BC. The first excavation of Poulnabrone Dolmen was in 1986 and then again in 1988 by Ann Lynch. During this excavation, one portal stone was replaced, and the team excavated the chamber, portico, and cairn. The remains of up to 22 individuals from the Neolithic were found. Sixteen adults, six children, and one newborn (from the Bronze Age) were among the remains. Their bodies were not cremated. Only one adult was over the age of 40 while most died before they reached 30. Most of the children were between the ages of five and fifteen. The skeletal remains show evidence of arthritis. The tip of a flint or chert projectile point was found embedded in the hip of one individual. Two other healed fractures, one skull and one rib, were also found. Dental wear analysis shows evidence for the consumption of stone-grounded cereals. Also found in the burial chamber was a polished stone axe, 2 stone beads, a decorated bone pendant, a fragment of a mushroom-headed bone pin, 2 quartz crystals, several shards of coarse pottery, and a number of arrowheads and scrapers. Grykes are crevices in the limestone that were then filled with remains. Chamber and grykes also were filled with the bones of various large and small animals.

You have another opportunity great to listen to more traditional music tonight. We will arrange dinner in McGanns pub tonight, so as to get you up front for the performance. I should explain, The local pubs pay the musicians to come and perform. This in turn attracts more customers to the pub. Due to the quality of the musicians playing, space in the pubs will be at a premium. The only way to guarantee a prime seat in the pub for the performance, is to reserve a table for dinner. You then retain that vantage point for the rest of the night. Otherwise, you will be stuck at the back of the pub with standing room only. We have been doing this for years and always lock down the best tables in the house.

 

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