“If I could through myself set your spirit free
I'd lead your heart away
See you break, break away
Into the light and to the day”
~Bad, U2

Wishing Well in Cong
It’s Valentine’s Day, the day of love. It’s a silly holiday if you ask me. Every day should be a day for love not just one special day of the year devoted to everything marketing the concept of love, the color red, intimacy, etc…For this Valentine’s Day, I’m doing something that I love & my soul loves. Last year, I was a Port Lockroy “British Base A” in Antarctica, this year I’ve landed in Dublin to give myself an Irish adventure to go explore the 50 shades of green. Some might think that I’m completely mad for what I do, oh well, it’s me & what ever makes me happy, don’t be standing in my way. Did you know that most American’s don’t even own a passport & that’s including people in Washington? It’s sad really that some will never leave the land of opportunity to seek out the beauty of the world. YES, the world is remarkable beautiful! Yes, go take that risk to see more of the world & actually learn something about you. Go on go on go on, you got nothing to loose. Life is about taking risks, enjoying the adventure & seeing where your love actually grows.

“Gather up the pots and the old tin can
And the mash, and the corn, the barley, and the bran
And then run like the devil from the excise man
Keep the smoke from rising, Barney
Now keep your eyes well peeled today
The tall, tall men, they're on their way
They're searching for the mountain tea
In the hills of Connemara”
~Hills of Connemara

Cong Abbey Grave Yard
A cousin of mine suggested to me that I should make it up to Connemara where she lived for a month. My day began leaving Galway Station for a wee bit of an adventure. I decided to take advantage of a travel deal from the reception at Snoozles Hostel where I have been staying. The hostel is conveniently located right next to the station. They arrange discounted tours with Galway Tour Company.  Sometimes traveling you just have to bite the bullet & suck up going on a tour. I know from working in the business how chaotic they might get at times, but it’s best to arrive with a positive out look for your tour guide. I have a feeling that I will probably be giving some photographic tips along the way, it tends to be the case. I just have an aura of helpfulness that many people can pick up with my high vibrations.
Just north of Galway City is the famous region of Connemara.  Conamara is ‘Inlets of the Sea’. A beautiful peninsular that gets it name from the tribal name of Conmacne Mara that is a branch of the Conmacne an early tribal grouping that had a number of branches located in different parts of Connacht. This particular branch of the Conmancne lived by the sea & became known of as the Conmacne Mara. The region can trace its roots back the 13th century when the O’Cadhla clan was the rulers. The coast of this region is made up of a number of peninsulas along its coast & the main town being Clifden. The Connemara National Park, the famous Kylemore Abbey are just some of the treasures worth seeing in the region.
You got to bite the bullet with the weather & just embrace it. You can’t do anything about the forces of Mother Nature, I’ve seen it change a number of times already here, & it’s something else. Ah, it’s been a splendid day to be up in Joyce Country. I had all kinds of weather conditions with snow, sleet, rain & hurricane force winds. I had a lovely time.
I enjoyed the stop at Ross Errily Friary & a wee bit of a look around the ruins of this Friary. I learned quite a bit about the history of the place & the history of the Catholic Church in Ireland & Henry VIII too. The village on Cong was lovely to check out. It’s pretty small & it took no time to navigate the circular village. It was nice to take a walk to go explore. The area is famous from the movie The Quite Man that came out in 1951, won an Academy Award for best picture & of course has John Wayne in it. The movie gave birth to the Irish tourism trade too, not to mention its cult movie following.
Kylemore Abbey
It was interesting enough to hear the history of the Great Hunger or as the rest of the world knows of the Great Famine of the late 1800’s. For the record it was not a famine by any means, the potato crop just failed. A huge blight (disease of the potato) failed, sad to say that many people did die from the tragic event. Long story short, during the ironic event, many of the Irish did die, they had to resort to stealing as a way of survival from the wealthy British landowners. The Irish were servants to the British landowners & worked for them on their estates. They rented a thatch roof house & an acre of land where they were allowed to grown their potatoes. The potatoes were the staple crop of the Irish.  If the Irish were caught then they were sent to Tasmania to serve in the penal colony force labor camps & their houses were burned to the ground. A total of 3 ½ million were lost during the starvation where as 5 million immigrated to North America. Many of the Irish did find refuge by settling in North America with a 8-12 weeks journey at sea back in those times, today it only takes like 5 hours to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
The back history was very important to learn & especially got a better feel of visiting Kylemore Abbey. The Abbey was beautiful. I enjoyed it very much. It was great to check out the architecture & the breath taking scenery of Ireland’s only fjord. I found out that the fjords major crop is mussels and about 80% of them get exported to Europe & around the world & the other 20% is for local sourced out to fish markets & restaurants in the area. Ah, I was in salmon country too. I found out that the landowners who own the land can charge what ever they want for fisherman to fish for salmon on their land. It tends to be the most expensive place to fish for salmon tho.
Overall it has been a wonderful day, full of adventure. I enjoyed every moment of it. Making the best of the situation. A lovely day to be doing what I love the most.

“Although I can see him still.
The freckled man who goes
To a grey place on a hill
In grey Connemara clothes
At dawn to cast his flies,
It's long since I began
To call up to the eyes
This wise and simple man.
All day I'd looked in the face
What I had hoped 'twould be
To write for my own race
And the reality;
The living men that I hate,
The dead man that I loved,
The craven man in his seat,
The insolent unreproved,
And no knave brought to book
Who has won a drunken cheer,
The witty man and his joke
Aimed at the commonest ear,
The clever man who cries
The catch-cries of the clown,
The beating down of the wise
And great Art beaten down.

Maybe a twelvemonth since
Suddenly I began,
In scorn of this audience,
Imagining a man,
And his sun-freckled face,
And grey Connemara cloth,
Climbing up to a place
Where stone is dark under froth,
And the down-turn of his wrist
When the flies drop in the stream;
A man who does not exist,
A man who is but a dream;
And cried, 'Before I am old
I shall have written him one
poem maybe as cold
And passionate as the dawn.'”
~The Fisherman, William Butler Yeast

Popular Posts