Day Two

Hiking Killary Fjord
 
After a great breakfast at the Abbeyglen Castle Hotel we packed our things and watched Gerry strategically pack the car with all the luggage for our coming few days of adventure in Connemara. Thankfully, there is a great stash of water resistant jackets and Wellingtons to loan from the hotel for those of us who forget the weather can change in a matter of minutes in the Ireland skies. Once we were all packed up, we loaded onto the bus and started driving to our drop point at the mouth of the Killary Fjord.

 


It was a bit rainy but that didn’t matter, the scenery was wonderful. We walked along a rocky path and looked at the water beside us as Gerry led the way talking about the Fjord. Gerry knows many facts about the places on the tour and can easily fill our heads with history and archeology, very impressive. Along the way we saw sheep, heard sheep and saw evidence of sheep. The sheep are lovely and certainly common almost everywhere you look. I never tired of the sounds and smells surrounding us as we walked. Below, a little traffic jam one can encounter while hiking on Connemara.

About halfway through our hike we stopped for a little break and a classy lunch carried by Brian Hughes (impressive that he carried all this food on his back, including wine!). We lined ourselves up and were served smoked salmon with freshly squeezed lemon juice (just because we were hiking, didn’t mean we had to rough it where food was concerned). The salmon was divine (or ‘grand’ if you’re Irish) and the second course was sandwiches. All the food was complimented by a delightful splash of wine and the fresh strawberries and yogurt were our dessert. To top off our lunch we had a small piece of chocolate and I think it is safe to say we could not have eaten any better had we all been sitting in a restaurant. Thanks for a great lunch Brian! This photo was our food lineup, and a great example of appropriate footwear too.

Several of us found some friendly ferns to duck into for a wee little ‘weee’ and then we were off to finish our hike. The scenery of farmland and fjord was breathtaking and so intimate and quiet. We all enjoyed every eyeful and I took many photos, each of a different mosaic of green.

The bus was waiting to take our tired feet to the ferry so we could cross over to Inish Bofin and on the ferry there was champagne waiting to liven us up a bit. We all had smiles and felt invigorated by the hike and I felt excited to see what tomorrow would bring. Once on Inish Bofin, we took a short walk up the hill to the Doonmore Hotel, our luggage hitched a ride with the local van. After freshening up in my room (and washing the glorious mud off my jeans) I changed and we all met up for supper.

The famine road from 1846 was a beautiful walk. The land was green and flowers grew all along the road. The food tastes so fresh here, it makes almost anything else I have eaten seem stale. Lots of great craic when Brian brings out his guitar and sings us all some songs after supper, and even the other people in the little dining room listen in with delight. There is always room for anyone to join in and lead a song with voice or guitar, or whatever, so come prepared to enjoy the music and even contribute if you are inclined, and be sure to learn a few Irish songs so you’re ready for everyone to sing along with you.
We all went to the pub after supper and enjoyed each other’s company before retiring for the night in our clean quite rooms. I couldn’t wait for the scenes I would see the next day!

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