Monday, 18 June 2012

Ireland 5 - sun and more trail

We woke up in Bangor to... sun... and blue sky. A glorious day. We'd been told that it was worth a visit to The Mullet, an island nearby. There's a little bridge from the mainland. This place really is a holiday-home island. Not very remarkable but nice for a little look. Then, back through Bangor and South on the R59 towards Newport and Eastport and then into the Connemara region.

We're staying in Killary, which is a nondescript area next to Leenane. This is big time sheep area (wool) and the little critters can be seen on the roadsides - sometimes crossing the road too. I got in a nice-nice run this afternoon. Didn't know how long the section would be. I got back three hours later ;)

This is one of a series of sculptures in this region. All are different and they're all big - not just a little head and shoulders. Some are shapes / designs. I think this is the only 'people'-type work. Bangor. The river is to my left here - this are is very popular for salomon fishing from May and through to September. Salomon numbers are picking up now.
Mom on the island. A good number of cows and baby cows - all parking off, lying on the grass (not in this photo tho - but you can see the nice greenery). I guess that when you've got yummy green, lush grass to eat then you don't have to spend the whole day eating and you can just lie down in the sun. Glorious!
Most of the houses look new and they seem to be holiday homes perhaps. Area is popular for golf, walking, biking and sight seeing. We saw a few old building -  a few run down. And then I saw this one. So, I got out to take a photo. Could smell the residents. Why build a chicken coop / run when you can just use an old house? These chickens really wanted to get out and seemed quite restless. Don't blame them really as it was a beautiful day outside.

This is our little car, a Nissan Micra.

Mom and the spiral sculpture - one of a number of big installations in the region. This is on the southern end of the island near a place called Blacksod. We were intrigued by the name, which is more intriguing than the place. A few houses, a little dock for fishing boats. 
The spiral sculpture. It said on the info board that the stones were raised to vertical from where they lay and arranged to make this spiral pattern (probably looks to you like a circle, but it is a spiral). In the background are some islands and the sea. Next stop, North America!
In Leenane in North-West Connemara. That's a fjord behind us.

Lazy bugger! A sheep just parking off - head resting on a rock. I like sheep. I've got loads of photos of sheep now and I'm sure to take many more ;)
Looking back, up the fjord (I was running towards the sun). Sea farming in the fjord. The chap told us that they farm mussels, oysters and also salmon. 
I thought there were tufts of wool from the sheep caught on grass. Turns out this is a plant and the 'wool' would be its seed dispersal mechanism.Feels quite wool-like.

The Killary Fjord trail, heading towards the open end.Looking forwards.

Looking back, up the fjord, from the Killary Fjord trail.

Off the trail and on to a little road. Dogs aren't allowed around here for obvious reasons - sheep.
Uphill on the road leading out from where the trail ended. The section of trail that I ran is one of a number of bits that form the 'Connemara Loop'. 

...must come down. Wasn't really that steep on foot.
This is sheep and peat farming area. I climbed down off the road to give you (and me) and idea of how deep they're cutting into the ground. I'm standing level with the ground you can see. Mom says that she read up online about peat while I was running. It forms at about 1 millimetre a year. It's used for heating (fires at home) and can also be used in agriculture to retain water in a more porous soil. Luckily there are organisations in Ireland who aim to protect the peat areas from being destroyed and farmed completely. Other big peat areas are places like Finland (certainly many other Scandinavian countries), UK probably too and Patagonia. Seems like 2% of earth's surface is peat. Wouldn't have guessed. This is second-hand info from mom's quick online look. No wonder this North-West region reminds me of Patagonia. Similar landscape (post-glacial) and vegetation.
A pile of peat. Dry as a bone.

Leenane at 20h30 - bright as day. And look at how still the water is! The earlier pic of me and mom, taken where that building is to the right, the wind was blowing. This evening - picture postcard still.
So... today also wraps up Day 35 of running. Tomorrow... day 36 ;)


Lobby said...

Beautiful photos L, looks like you and your mom are having a super time. Hope you're having a fab birthday!

Ireland Vacations Deals 2012 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.