Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Windy Hike

A couple weeks ago, on our Friday Irish Studies trip, we went on a 8km hike down the path of the only above-ground stream in the Burren. Because of the limestone pavement here, the rain goes through the porous rocks to create a series of underground streams and caves. But in this area, there's a layer of some other rock that the water has cut down to, and so flows overground to the sea. It was a lovely hike, and lots of fun. It was a really really really windy day, though - which in my opinion only made it more exciting!!

There was this giant hole in the ground that we went to first - kind of like a sinkhole, I suppose. Unfortunately it was sooo windy I had a really hard time getting a photo. I just couldn't keep the camera still enough to not blur.

Most of my photos ended up looking something like this:

We ran into a field with a bunch of cows, and since we were further in the valley, it was a bit easier to take photos - not as windy.

I love how all the cows here are so fuzzy!! They all look like they would be nice to pet. Some of them even have really curly coats like this one.

Connemara ponies!!! This one was a beauty.

It was amazing how much the river-scape changed as we walked down it towards the sea, depending on the substrate.

This photo is a little hard to see, but in the foreground are stairs that lead down to a natural spring, that was definitely used as a well, and possibly as a holy well at some point.

This is a beautiful garden that was right along the river - it's so perfectly mystical that I couldn't help taking a photo. Mom - this is what I want my garden to be like when I have a house!!

This slug was kinda gross looking, but somehow still fascinating.

There was a group of feral goats that were going up the hill away from the path. It's hard to see in this photo, but we had binoculars, and so that was fun to watch. There were a couple small kids that were super adorable, and seemed to be having such fun bounding up and down the rocky slope.

When we got down to the beach, the wind came back full force, as there were no hills to protect us. I could lean backwards into the wind much further than my natural balance would allow - it was so much fun. There's something so exhilirating about being in such strong wind!

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