First full day in Galway and the rain comes down non-stop. This is the last page of the only lined journal I brought to Ireland and I need to go out to buy another one. I force myself to leave the hostel when the rain lessens to the drizzle. Thankfully, the weather lets up further and I have some sunshine as I pass Eyre Square, moving towards Shop Street and the bay beyond that.
Day 4: Flora and Fauna
My fourth day in the Burren, it doesn’t seem like the rain will let up. So I go out for a hike in my area to at least take advantage of daylight. As I begin to walk through the fields, the rain comes down in periodic sheets, blown by wind gusts.
Sunrise in the Burren is an amazing thing. I wake with the sun every morning. I could block the light with curtains, but waking early is worth the view. Even on rainy mornings, the sun rises bright over the horizon line of the field.
I move on from the Dun Laoghaire book festival to a week of caravan camping in the Burren, Co. Clare. The distinctive landscape of the Burren can be identified as soon as I come into the correct vantage point driving down from Galway. When I first see the hills, covered in lilac grey, I think that I’m looking at flora. Only when I draw closer do I notice that the color is limestone, packed all along the slope of the hills, piled in tiers and winding to a summit. The word “burren” comes from the Irish “boireann”, meaning “stony place”.
I happened to hear of the Mountains to Sea Book Festival last time I was in Monkstown. A brochure had been left out at the local Comhaltas center, and as soon as I saw that the festival would offer an opportunity to meet writers like Eavan Boland, Margaret Atwood, and Michael Longley, I shifted my travel plans to accommodate a trip to Dun Laoghaire (very close to Monkstown).