Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Ireland 6 - Birthday day

My birthday morning dawned with clouds and drizzle but then turned into the most fabulously beautiful day. We'd spent the night at a hostel in Killary. We've been staying in B&Bs because most of the little towns off the main routes just don't have hostels, which we'd been aiming to stay in. Most of the B&Bs have been fabulous (only one had a really tiny room and silly staircase I could barely fit in!). The rooms generally have a tv (fun to see what is on Irish telly) and rooms are nice with good breakfasts in the morning. Nice thing about a good breakfast is that we then just do fruit or a soup later in the afternoon, which works well. B&B rates are usually 30 or 35 Euros each.

So, we drive through Leenane and into Killary and see a sign for this hostel with budget accommodation. We think, "Lekker". Location is great, place is decent, room is roomy and it has a bathroom. Price? 26 Euros each. And that's budget accommodation? We're back to B&Bs. Stayed at a lovely place in Ballyvaughn last night - 25 Euro.

We liked Ballyvaughn. Sweet, cheerful town in The Burren. Mom and I took a birthday walk in the evening and had the most AWESOME view of Galway Bay. Weather was perfect. As for the stone walls typical of The Burren region... Crazy Irish! Sure, the creation of the walls results from clearing the ground for farming but there are a helluva lot of walls - totally incredible!

We've been on the road a lot today, with a quick stop in Limerick and some other towns. I'll save those pics for tomorrow or the next day - still have to look through them.

So, back to photos from my birthday day...

The Connemara Giant. It is good luck to touch his hand, which we did.
I fell in love this with hare. Only thing I didn't like was that he is from a moulded resin. If he'd been ceramic or such he would be coming home with me. Instead, I took this photo.
I think this was in Oughterard... We have seen many, many signs for marathons and other distance runs - some this coming weekend and others at later dates. Amazing how much is happening in these small villages. There are also cycle races around too.
A school project in Galway. We met the teacher and she said she'd had the idea and then the children all knitted squares, which were stitched together. They were in the process of covering this sculpture. She said the children would all be coming through today (Tuesday). We just caught a bit of this story on the news - it looks so colourful. What fun!
Mom sitting with the 'Wildes' in Galway. Her hand is on Eduardo Wilde's knee as Oscar Wilde looks on.
My birthday yarn. This pic doesn't really do this lovely colour any justice - it is absolutely divine. And the yarn... I buy 100% bamboo in SA and thought it was THE yarn... but this is just a little more delicious.
We didn't go into the tower - just into the courtyard. Nice. They do medieval banquet evenings here, which is probably good fun.
The Burren Walking Trails are AWESOME! We just did a little bit of one but there are a bunch of them. We're really impressed with the trails in the regions. You can walk/run for days.
We first went up this hill to get a view of the route we would walk - this is it in orange.
Mom on the trail.
We took a walk on the Ballyvaughn walking route to the Gleninagh Pass (between the Cappannawalla and Gleninagh mountains). Stunning! This was our view.
On top of the Gleninagh Pass.
Looking across the Galway Bay to Galway.
Walls, walls, walls! Amazing. You can see a area going higher up the hill where they've created more pasture.

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