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The Burren and Beyond

  • Blog Post by: Paul Lundberg
  • September 9, 2013 - 5:53 AM

 The Burren, a colossal limestone landscape found in the County Clare, is where my most recent jaunt has taken me.  The endeavor started long before my group and I arrived at the Burren as the roads were not generous.  Imagine a standard road that is a single lane; now draw a line down the middle and presto it is now a two way road!  This created several a circumstances of close calls as our sizable bus would skim the edges of the road and the oncoming car.  Needless to say the drive consisted of sudden braking and swerving, which in turn caused those prone to motion sickness not happy.

 
One of the roads we took to the Burren

One of the roads we took to the Burren

Once we arrived at this impressive rocky expansion we were all very ready to hike after being confined to the bus for a little over a hour.  Our group was met by some Burren experts who kindly informed us about various aspects of the Burren.  For example the Burren is the most diverse location for flowering plants in Ireland.  They represent about 70 percent of all the flowering plants in Ireland in a space that is one percent the land mass of Ireland.  Unfortunately it was not flowering season, but it was still a remarkable view.  It did not take long for me and the remainder of our group to traverse Mullaghmore, a large rocky mountain found in the Burren.  Once at the peak we ate the lunch we had packed and hiked back down the other side where our bus was waiting for us.
Mullaghmore in the Burren

Mullaghmore in the Burren

 
After this near 6km hike our group moved on to yet another impressive landscape, the Cliff of Moher.  The Cliffs of Moher created an impressive view with sheer drops of 300-400 feet.  These drops went straight into the frigid ocean below.  Looking part way down the cliffs one could see birds flocking to the crevices created over generations of geological abuse.  The Cliffs of Moher created an eye popping few which further built upon are already busy day.
Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

 
After this busy day our group was pretty tuckered out, but we kept going as we went to see the national championship for hurling.  We stopped at a pub on the way back in County Clare and watched the spectacle unfold.  The event was something similar to the Super Bowl in America; fans painted with their team’s color and shouting with excitement.  The teams that were playing were Clare and Cork.  It was an amazing game as both teams played very well.  The ending could not have been any more spectacular as Cork was winning by one with only seconds remaining.  Clare fought back getting the equivalent of a buzzer beater to tie it up.  The pub exploded with energy as we were in County Clare.  Interestingly enough they do not do extra time to settle a tie, instead they reschedule and play again until there is a victor.
 

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