Back to the Burren

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When we originally planned our trip south, high on the agenda was seeing the unique and rocky landscape of the Burren. We had hurriedly driven from Enniskillen to Sligo to Galway in an attempt to get there early enough to explore the area, but that didn’t work out so well. We arrived at the Poulnabrone Dolmen right before sunset in the rain and cold, with our original plan being to spend the night in Galway. At that point, we were not too excited about the prospect of having to back-track about an hour to get to Galway, so you can see why we made the decision there and then to cut our losses and move on toward Killarney. In hindsight it was a good decision, since we were able to make better use of our limited time in and around the Killarney area. However, now that we had adjusted our return plans, it meant we had a chance to make up for that and at least be able to spend an afternoon exploring the Black Head area of the Burren which is located right up against the Atlantic shoreline.

The Burren is a wild landscape, one that initially appears to be devoid of life. Though the striking rock formations and apparent lack of soil might suggest no vegetation, on closer inspection the area is teeming with life. This remarkable area is hard to do justice to in a photograph… large swathes of rock blanket the stark landscape, with cracks and holes everywhere to be seen.

Believe it or not, we were basking in warm sunshine and mild temperatures of about 60 degrees for most of our last day, and as the rocky landscape probably absorbed/reflected the warmth, these two Mainers who were just coming off one of the snowiest winters ever were very content to soak in some rays. As the sun slowly went down over the distant horizon there was a layer of mist or fog offshore that contributed to a somewhat subdued but beautiful sunset.

Sam and I had wandered for about half a mile out onto this barren and rocky surface, and while we sat together and admired the setting sun, we both appreciated the uniqueness of our surroundings. This last photograph was made by Sam, and I think it was the best one of the evening. After watching the sun slowly and elegantly sink below the horizon, we headed off into Galway to enjoy our last night in Ireland.

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