Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Still........

...........even though we are far away from it now, the silvery silken  waters of Galway Bay will be breaking on the shore at Ballyvaughan.

We have had a lovely 9 days there again, meeting old friends from previous years and catching up.
re-acquainting ourselves with the Burren and its surroundings, and the lovely quiet village.
Every year we have new and different experiences and this year was no exception.

I went to Mass on Sunday morning in the village church. 
Its the first time I have ever been asked to pray for a successful hunt. Lets draw a veil over what that may mean and hope it referred to the safe return of all the riders and no kill.

We thought we'd go to watch. They assembled here...

 It wasn't like the few hunts I've seen in this country, far more 'ordinary' although some were definitely monied and turned up with wonderful horse boxes with push button ramps, and polished leather boots.


 While others were a bit more like garden sheds on wheels.


 I asked a friendly man in a mud spattered riding coat if they caught many foxes...he said they hadn't caught one in twenty years and if they did find one they'd probably 'sit down for a drink with him and tell him what a fine fellow he is.'
They took off suddenly.


 We got the car out and followed them down the road just to see the fast galloping and the hounds but it was a very slow process.They were stuck in a field for ages because the hounds had run off over the mountain where the horses couldn't follow.We were told the best place to see them was on the beach.

 We waited.
Eventually they came across the sand but not in a galloping frenzy but sporadically, in dribs and drabs, all having to be very careful whilst leaving the car park as there was a low overhead height restriction barrier!



A very sedate affair but whatever you might think of hunting it was an interesting thing to see.

On Monday my friend (who comes to keep me company)and I took a trip to Inis Mor one of the Aran Islands. 
Once the awful stressful feat of finding first the car park then the bus in Galway, (being guided by a woman from the ferry company on the phone and running with unlaced walking boots rather like Anneka Rice did in 'Treasure Hunt' all those years ago) was over, we relaxed on the ferry 

 sailing past the shores of Connemara..what a place for a graveyard.


 On arrival we were greeted by the offer of a pony and trap ride all over the island. We accepted..and after a difficult ascent into the trap, we snuggled under the rugs and enjoyed the gorgeous weather and scenery. The driver was wearing jeans, a short jacket and no gloves..it was freezing but he wasn't.
The stoic little horse who pulled us was called Johnny Cash. Johnny was due for new shoes the next day. I asked what he would do about the trap and he said he'd have to get his other horse..'W' ..short for WB Yeats. What a man.
Every now and then he got out and took a picture for us!


 We trotted up to Dun Aengus a fort on the clifftop, 2500 years old.



There's a sheer drop on the other side.


 After lunch a bit of shopping (Lovely cafe playing Leonard Cohen songs!) we continued along the coast road. I saw seals here in this bay but my camera didn't. They were playing in the blue water enjoying the sunshine .



 On to an old church (all seemed to be '7th century') and another photo opportunity!

The sun shone all day but my goodness it was cold. 
 We could have picked up one of these and hired a bike but I am so glad we chose the pony and trap.
 A little detail near the harbour.
 There was even a seal in the harbour on the mainland when we arrived back in Connemara and the moon rose pink and incredibly huge as we drove back to Galway.

On Saturday we made our usual trip to the Dolmen.

 Here I am looking as round as the aforementioned moon and much pinker.


 A little shop browsing in Ennis in the afternoon....wonderful clothes in some of the shops, but so expensive

 and on Sunday a walk on the beach at Fanore


 watching this young jockey to-ing and fro-ing and eventually trotting up the road home.


 We could hear the hooves on the sand and then on the road as he clopped off home.


Now for the inspiration!!!
I am inspired by all I saw underfoot.
Allow me to share my pictures with you.
I spent a lot of time looking down between the stones and the ridges.







 Look.....
 look more closely...






A puzzling sight
 even with the boat!
 Besides all the sights there were sounds, great friends, great craic, and above all , my husband thoroughly enjoyed his classes with the great Noel Hill, and had plenty of space and time to practise.

I give you....a happy husband.


So I hope you've enjoyed this fourth year of Ballyvaughan.
If you should want to read my previous posts about our visits there please click HERE



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