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Prologue


My enthusiasm for Ireland spread an interest for this country around me. At first alone, we shared at four this stay. Eager to discover Ireland, my travelling companions took the risk to entrust me the route. I took the challenge and cooked a stay for them which, I hope, their left beautiful memories. Let's go for this 13th voyage…
I apologize for my bad written english despite the help of Google.

En route !


Tuesday May 8th : Here we are ! (Dublin - Athlone)
Dublin, landing at 15h55, the weather is cloudy with parts of blue sky, a light wind and a temperature close to 15°C. It will be mostly the same conditions for all the stay. I like to believe that one of us is a bit “black cat”, having often enjoyed the Irish sun in the past. After recovered luggage on the bad carpet and hired a car, let's go to Athlone. The plan is : “to leave Dublin as fast as possible with the goal to to be ready tomorrow”. Athlone is just a stage for our first night, the search for a B&B starts badly but the chance smiles us at an old charming couple.

Wednesday May 9th : Museum of Country Life - Croagh patrick
We go to Clonmacnoise before joining Castlebar. Clonmacnoise is a famous monastic city of the 1st millenium after JC. Located close to the Shannon river, it was plundered many times. There remain however vestiges such as towers, churches, graveyard, crosses…

Sur la rive du ShannonTours et églisesTombes éparses

Towards Castlebar, we stop in one of the five national museums of Ireland : Museum of Country Life. To discover the living conditions and the recent history of Irish people.
Museum of Country LifeTeach meRed flower

Our bags put at Drumshinnag House (my preferred B&B), we climb the Croagh Patrick (762m). For the eighth time at the summit, I enjoy the view of Clew Bay and its many islands.
Clew Bay


Thursday May 10th : Corraun Hill - Achill Island
We go to visit Achill Island, peninsula populated by some old american policemen. Before crossing the bridge to the peninsula, we make a walk on Corraun Hill (524m and Corraun Hill East Top 541m). From the ridges we contemplate the mountains and the ocean.
Atlantic driveBig wavesWind and water
Corraun Hill


Friday May 11th : Cong and the king (Connemara)
After the efforts of these first days, we mark a pause with a ballade in the park of Cong and the garden of Ashford Castle, a luxurious hotel. We continue our travel in Connemara, passing by Leenaune at the edge of the single fjord of Ireland: Killary Harbour. The visit of Connemara National Park is the pretext for a small walk with a nice view on summits: where are the Twelve Bens? (not on the picture in any case!)
CongAshford CastleConnemara National Park
Well known waterfallKillary Harbourg
Connemara National Park


Saturday May 12th : From Galway to the Moon (The Burren)
It is time to leave the Mayo and to go to the Kerry. We briefly visit the pedestrian center of Galway before joining Ballivaughan. We find close to the village a very good B&B. Our bags put, we leave then for walk on the limestone platform of the Burren. The region is a botanical curiosity: some alpine plants grow here. One of us dreams to come again for climbing. We lie down under the sun on the rock eroded during last ice age.
Alpine flowersLimestoneMegalithic monument
The Burren


Sunday May 13th : 3 become 5 (Torc Mountain)
Killarney does not have anything in particular except lots of tourists. We avoid the rally of the lakes (it becomes difficult to drive with many closed roads) to fall into the Killarney horse-races! Everybody is very excited in pubs, the money of a waiter is in game? We leave afternoon for a "three hours which become five" walk. The memory plays sometimes tricks. It is better to have legs and not fear the wind on Torc summit (535m).
An easy trailTowards Torc Mountain


Monday May 14th : 3000 except nothing ! (Carrauntoohil)
It is undoubtedly the climax of this stay: with its 1039m, Carrauntoohil is the highest point of Ireland. The walk of the day will allow us to reach the 3000, or rather three summits upper than 1000m. We go down with nice views in the eyes. Brilliant day!
On the way of the return, I discover carnivorous plants which I found only around 400m altitude last year.
Plante carnivoreCarrauntoohil:1039mCarnivorous plant
Macgillycuddy's Reeks

Macgillycuddy's Reeks


Tuesday May 15th : Roads in Beara
With the effort of the day before, one day of rest is welcome. We make the tour of the peninsula of Beara. This area offers possibilities of interesting walks, particularly in Gleninchaquin Park. Passing by the two main passes, we discover in Garnish Point, a cable car which connects Dursey Island to its older sister.
Gleninchaquin ParkHealy PassGarnish Point


Wednesday May 16th : Who kills Kenny ? (Killarney - Cashel - Kilkenny)
We begin the last part of our voyage, to Kilkenny. While passing by Cashel, we make a short halt in the ruins of Hore Abbey. We leave side the castle (a must to visit). Hardly arrived at Kilkenny, we leave our bags and go to walk in Blackstairs Mountain. There, we discover the virtuosity of the loggers to the orders of their cranes of loading: their dexterity and speed are very impressing. After a few hundred meters in underwoods, we arrive at the edge. In front of our eyes ashes of a fire extend on the summits. April was the theatre of several departure of fire in the mountains of south-east, including the Wicklow Mountains. I try a fast escapade among ashes which is concluded by the temporary loss from the group. Nothing serious, the car is so far, except that I did not take a matchet to cross particularly dense underwoods…
Burnt hillKilkenny CastleDunmore Cave (Alien ?)


Thursday May 17th : 20°C under the sun ! (Wicklow)
I take along our small group in what can be compared with the Black Forest for German. Glendalough is a place very appreciated the weekend by townsmen of Dublin. The weather is particularly nice and we let us profit from it for a small walk close to the lakes. While lying under the sun, I show the route of our ultimate excursion of this stay. The experiment from the “3 which makes 5 of them” harmed my reputation. I do not insist on the details of the course, one calls me from now on SAS (Sausages Approved Saler). To achieve this day of rest, we drink a tea on the sunny terrace of our B&B.
Glendalough Upper LakeMonastic siteMonastic site


Friday may 18th : The last trail (Camaderry)
After a strong rain shower, we leave to walk around the small valley of Glendalough. On Camaderry summit (698m) the wind is strong and gusts hustle us somewhat. We see a herd of roe-deers or stags. The walk finishes under the sun, occasion to go to bathe in Brittas Bay. Only two insane out of four try their chance. The water seems to be “very” fresh and the weather becomes temporarily rainy.
ScarabeeShamrockBrittas Bay


Saturday May 19th : Argh, this is the end... (Dublin)
It is the last day and we wake up early. After a delicious full irish breakfast, we go to Dublin by Wicklow Mountains. We visit the Museum of Archeolgy and History and we make an ultimate shopping. We conclude the tour in the city by an early bird menu taken in a restaurant of Temple Bar. Then it is time to take last once our car to reach the airport…

Epilogue


Back in France, we already evoke a forthcoming voyage. In spite of a dubious weather, we have satisfaction to have made all the activities which we wanted. On my side, I reserve Beara for future walks. I plan a stay like a “mini challenge” which will include : a walk on Croagh Patrick at the beginning of the stay, Twelve Bens and or a maximum of summits in Connemara, a walk of Croagh Patrick at the end of the stay (10th climb), with Castlebar for base camp.

The choice of the photographs was difficult : pictures over/under-exposed, unhappy framing. Nevertheless, I made a photo album of this voyage.


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CategoryIreland




CategoryIreland
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