07 September 2017
A gray morning it was. We got out to the horses just a few miles out of town, and got saddled and mounted before the rain started, which was almost instantly. It was more misting, but as we get closer to the Atlantic, the wind was quiet heavy.
Just after we left the main road, we passed by a our first glimpse of rocky limestone cliffs that are characteristic of the Burren, as well as a stone memorial with a cross. Back in 1997, a man was on his way home from the pub, and though is friends asked to drive him, he said he would walk. He was walking along the stonewalls, when he lost his balance and fell in one of of the disappearing lakes that are formed from heavy rains, and then rapidly disappear in about a days time. An uplifting story for the day.
The rain began to get heavier as we made our way along the road passed many farms lined with stone walls for fencing. Back in the day, they used to have to move stones to get livestock in and out of pastures and then restack the stones. We passed the ruins of an old law school as well.
Then the rain got even heavier. We had to dismount and walk a busy road before continuing on the Burren Trail. We had only a short distance to ride before we reached a picnic area for lunch and we could change and add some layers for warmth. The rain stopped for a while as we fueled ourselves with coffee and tea before mounting into our wet saddles.
After lunch, it was a few hour ride through Burren National Park. It was truly otherworldly. There are no words to describe the rock formations, cliffs, boulders that line the fields throughout, exposing geological layers that tell the story of glaciers and ice ages. It stopped raining just enough to have some photo time, but with the wind, we carried on soon enough.
Winding our way down the hills, the wind settled and we found ourselves back on the road, passing sheep and barking dogs. But were just outside of Lisdoovarna, and we now have our first glimpse of the Atlantic, preparing us for the Cliffs of Mohr tomorrow and with any luck, a view of the Aran Islands and the Connemara Mountains.
For now though, we are checked into the hotel for the night and getting warm by whatever means –shower, coffee, tea, whiskey…