Even though we were up listening to music until 11:30 last night, we got up early and got an early start. Well, not too early. Nothing opens until 9:30 so there’s no point in being in a hurry. Our first stop this morning was the Burren Center in the little town of Kilfenora. We learned a lot about the Burren and how it was formed. We also learned about some of the ancient ruins scattered around the area.
Armed with our new knowledge, we headed out to go for a walk in the Burren. We made our way to the tiny village of Carran and to the Perfumery. Not only do they make perfume and scented products, they also provide information on the hikes in the area. Oh, they also have a tea room. We acquired a few samples of their products and had tea and scones while we were there. We wouldn’t want to start our hike on an empty stomach.
The walk started and finished right in front of the village pub, how convenient. We had acquired printed walk directions before leaving the Perfumery, so off we went. We walked down through the village and then off onto narrow country roads. Now we were some of the hikers that you meet coming around a corner when driving. Soon we were climbing through stiles, over walls, and across fields. There were no longer fences separating us from the livestock. The cows and horses didn’t seem to mind though.
About half way through our walk the lush fields yielded to ever increasingly rocky ground. Soon we were walking across solid rock. We were just on the fringes of the Burren. Hiking over the rock was really quite easy since it was like walking on concrete. Eventually we came out onto another country lane.
Just down the lane our instructions said to turn onto an old, unused road. “The Old Bog Road” it was called. That was an overstatement I’m afraid. We bushwhacked through the brush and then into the bog. The we lost all sights of the trail. More bushwhacking and we came back out onto a marked trail again. Today I was wearing shorts, its still quite warm here, and managed to get sting nettle all over my legs.
I haven’t really mentioned that almost all of the plants and weeds we see here are also common at home. Nettle is everywhere here. There are a few plants that don’t do well at home, such as Fuchsias.
Once we finished our walk/hike we rewarded ourselves at the pub with a nice chocolate dessert. We then drove to the town of Kinvarra where we toured an old castle. Its not very big, but I thought it was pretty cool. From there it was on to Galway. Of course we hit Galway at rush hour. It took us 30 minutes to go our last 5 kilometers in the traffic. I decided I haven’t missed driving in traffic, its no fun here either. Finally we settled in to our accommodation for the next two nights.
We’ve just returned from dinner in downtown Galway, a 10 minute walk, and getting ready for some needed rest. Oh, Karen is asleep already (oh my gosh, its 10:50 already). the sun doesn’t set here until about 11:00.
Until tomorrow then,