Clifden and the Sky Road

Trip Start Jan 09, 2012
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Trip End Jul 14, 2012


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Flag of Ireland  , Western Ireland,
Sunday, March 25, 2012

A week-end at the end of March 2012, we decided with a friend of mine (Guillaume) to visit the Connemara. We noticed that there was a Citylink bus (one of the main bus companies in Ireland) going to Clifden which is known as the capital city of the Connemara (it is only 3000 inhabitants). From Galway, Clifden is approximately one hour and a half drive (around 80 km). We leave Galway the Sunday morning and it was a sunny day so I was very happy. Arriving in Clifden, at approximately midday, there was a Connemara ponies competition. I don't know a lot about ponies and horses, but I just know and I also realized that the Connemara ponies are very tall ponies, they looks like horses. So we looked a little at this competition while eating our sandwich and after we decided to go to the Sky Road. The Sky Road is known to be one or even the most beautiful road of all the Ireland. The road is overhanging the sea that is why I think it is called like that. It is making a loop of 16 km which starts at Clifden and go along the sea and come back by the land to Clifden. We decided with Guillaume to do this loop by walking. Anyway, there was not any other way to visit this road for us (there wasn’t any bike rental at this season). So we walked a lot and it was hard, but the road and the sight on the sea and on the Connemara mountains was amazing. And with that sunny weather, it was really enjoyable. It was March in Ireland and I just wore a pullover…unbelievable!! When the weather is not good, Connemara looks sad area, but when the weather is sunny, it is an explosion of colors and it is gorgeous. It is one of the most beautiful area I have never visited.

The funny story with this escapade was that we just realized before arriving at the half of the loop that 16 km was huge to walk so I proposed to take a shortcut and to go by the fields. It was a good shortcut at the beginning but we soon realized that Connemara is a very marshy area. So after a moment, our feet sank suddenly in the ground until the knees. We continue on this shortcut and I think that finally we earned time and energy by taking it. The sights by going by the fields were also amazing. The inconvenient is that our shoes, pants and feet were totally soaked. What I learned here is that the beauty of the Connemara is due to the fact that it is always raining here and it gives this particular yellow color to most grounds which contrast with the green of the trees or of some other fields less humid. When we finally arrived at Clifden at 5pm after 4 or 5 hours walk, we stopped at a local pub waiting for the bus and have a pint of Guinness and dry our shoes (it was not very efficient with the March’s sun).

3 outputs from this day:

-I was really tired and I had no difficulties to sleep the night after.

-Connemara is gorgeous but I wouldn’t like to live here as it is a wild area, there is not a lot of life and it is far away from Galway (and the road between Galway and Clifden is not good).

-The Sky Road is definitely a spot to visit in Ireland and I advise any travelers going to Ireland to visit it.
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