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Two nice days

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  • colmbolmcolm
    On the Friday morning I walked into the kitchen to make breakfast. I could hear a wavering hum from the sitting room. It was Shane s birthday and he was
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 31, 2005
      On the Friday morning I walked into the kitchen to make breakfast. I
      could hear a wavering hum from the sitting room. It was Shane's
      birthday and he was singing his heart out. Gary and Alex didn't
      arrive in Galway until lunchtime. We met them by the Docks in the
      city centre where a big grey military ship acted as a rendezvous
      point. Gary had also brought his little dog Mac D along for the
      trip. It was Alex's first time to the west of Ireland and Gary
      exclaimed that he hadn't been in Galway for years.

      After a much enjoyed lunch we strolled up and down Galway's
      shopping streets. Early signs of dusk were noticeable as the sun
      began to decline so we decided to catch the fading light by coast.
      We drove out to the beautiful beach of silver stand but the tide was
      in and the only grains of sand to be seen were on the footpath. We
      took to the cliff which rises up from the beach and runs for a short
      distance along the coast. Erosion was eating into the base of this
      cliff of stones and soil so we had to be careful not to venture too
      close to the edge. Mac D saw no danger and walked over to the very
      edge and glanced downwards. Needless to say that Gary called him
      back as quickly as possible.

      From the cliff we had a lovely view of Galway Bay and the hills of
      Co. Clare in the distance. We gazed out across the cloudy sky as the
      sun turned it unusual shades of violet and peach just before it
      dived into the ocean. Later that evening we a enjoyed a peaceful
      meditation which was followed by a big meal and dessert on Shane's

      The next morning, after a large, protein filled breakfast, we
      departed for the Burren in Co. Clare. From the forecast we sure that
      showers were inevitable but the day remained bright and cheerful as
      we dove. At one stage we descended down a big hill and at the bottom
      the road ran parallel with a small lake. To our amazement, two swans
      had just taken off with wings fully spread and were flying directly
      in line with us. For a hundred meters the swans flew closely side-by-
      side with us until I quickly had to manoeuvre around a sharp bend.
      It was such a beautiful sight.

      We travelled along the coastline which brought us to the unique
      landscape of the Burren. Shane explained to us how thousands of
      years ago the Celts had cut down all the forests which had covered
      the land in order to create pastures, however this led to the thin
      layer of soil washing away. The result is a barren landscape of bare
      limestone, known as carsk landscape. We walked through a valley of
      green fields, sectioned by stone walls that ran up to the stone grey
      hills on either side. These walls are the consequence of a life of
      back breaking labour endured, in the past, by farmers trying to
      claim a patch of land as their own.

      We climbed up the hill to our left, stopping briefly for fruit and
      biscuits, and then trekked on further up the exposed ridges of
      weather limestone. From the top we had, once again, a beautiful view
      of Galway Bay, only this time from the other side. Right across the
      bay could just about make out the beach that we had been to the day
      before. Walking on further we came to a sudden drop of mass rock. I
      enjoyed scaling down it but Gary found a safer roof in order to
      carry down Mac D. From there we walked across a desolate plain of
      rock until we reached another valley. At the bottom of the valley
      was what looked like a huge crater left behind by a meteorite. Shane
      and I pondered whether it actually was the result of a meteorite.

      After a little more walking we stopped for a quick break by a stone
      wall. In the distance was the cliff of rock which to our amusement
      reflected an incredible echo. We shouted out our names and after a
      second delay it seemed someone would shout back at us. Ahead of us
      the landscape looked like a giants playground with huge football
      like rocks lying here and there on smooth plates of stone. Long
      fractures dissected the rock in places were water had found the path
      of least resistance. It's hard to believe that the subtlety of
      water could create such wonderful features in resilient rock but
      everything physical is bound by time and time can move mountains.

      We walked for a while before reaching the road to lead us back our
      starting point. Gary carried Mac D some off the way because he was
      well tired from his adventure away from home. We were greeted by
      cattle grazing on high ground as we trekked over a hill which took
      us right back to the cars. Throughout the whole day not one drop of
      rain had fallen which we were grateful for. We left behind a
      landscape of wonderful character and enjoyed a hearty meal in the
      town of Loughrea before we set off for home.
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