04 September 2017
The luck of the Irish. Well, we were not as lucky with the weather this morning, but this is Ireland, so misty and foggy weather was to be expected.
After another farm breakfast, we boarded the red minibus and went to retrieve our horses where we pastured them last night. Luckily the rain washed Toibin off some from his roll the evening before. But man does he shed! Covered in little white hairs, but it feels goods to smell of horse. Only horse people really understand this though.
We squished our way through bogs all throughout pastures. Public land is open for people to graze animals on, but they wander without fences, so fining your animals when you want to catch them causes a bit of a search. Our view of the River Shannon and Lough Derg were limited on this side today due to the fog, but no matter – we saw them the day before. But the story of the Lough Derg, or the Red Lake goes:
Long ago, it was only possible to send stories by giving your most valuable possession. The king on the island only had one eye and wished to send a story. He asked the messenger what he wanted – money, is first child, etc. – but he wanted his last eye. The king agreed, but when the eye was removed, it was have said to have bled so much, it turned the lake red.
The mist became rain, but stopped as we got our lunch site. It was next to some ruins of former cottages and the former guardhouse that was between the roads of County Galway and County Clare many years ago. During the famine, all these were abandoned, but if families have proof of ancestral heritage to that land, the government will give it back. Unfortunately, with all that was going on, most paperwork was lost. Most of the cottages are overgrown with moss and vegetation now, but the fuchsia trees from Latin America that were planted, give away their whereabouts. And then the willow trees will most likely lead you to the wells.
After lunch we continued galloping our way down roads and through forests. You know, a typical day. Toibin finally started cantering in 3 beats instead of 4 at times, so my ass hurts slightly less. But that could all change tomorrow…