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how to hike in ireland

Happy Fence Friday! This image was taken during our first hike in Ireland, as we ascended a large rock formation known as Ben Bulben. It certainly wasn't the tallest peak in Ireland, but it was still challenging, and the surrounding countryside was insteresting as well, as it was the home of W. B. Yeats. We actually passed the churchyard where Yeats as buried, and Ben Bulben itself comes up in a number of his poems.


Moving on. The most difficult part about this hike was determining where to start. There weren't any labeled trails, nary a sign to be found. We finally ended up asking a local farmer, who told us to "park on the road" and walk up a farm driveway to nearby pasture. So we did. Then we turned around, finding a gate in our path... only to turn back when a couple of fellow hikers assured us that yes, we were in fact going the right way. So it was over the gate, and then through a sheep pasture. Multiple sheep pastures, in which a small foot trail (sometimes no trail at all) wound its way steadily uphill. We crossed a gully of shrubs (to the left of this image) and then had to climb this fence, set on a steep hillside, to continue on. After that the going was a bit simpler, but the winds were incredible... anything not firmly attached to your body was gone immediately. I had to stick my tripod legs about nine inches into the ground to get it to stay steady for a pinhole image. It was crazy.


But beautiful. I'll have more images from Ben Bulben eventually, but since it's Friday I went with this one for now.

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Taken on December 16, 2011