01/18 - Simply Winter - Part 1

Happy New Year everyone! 


I’d like to start 2018 with a few images I took in December last year. The Burren is a fascinating place at every season, but a dusting of snow made this lunar landscape look even more special. (click on the pictures)

So what's the plan for this year? The plan is (don't laugh, I really have a plan!) one blog post per month throughout the year. That's it, one good (!) blog post per month. I also hope to have the shop up and running at the end of the year. 

But enough about plans for the future, here are some impressions from a wintery day in the Burren. 

One of my favorites from the day, horses in the snow. 

Near Cahercommaun ring fort in the high Burren

I'm torn about this image, while I love the the b/w version, there's something about the color version...



Feral goats near Cahercommaune

One last one from the day, Abbey Hill

And that's the end of part 1...

Looking for Patrick - Part One

Time to share some photos from my trip to Westport and Connemara. I had this brilliant idea to climb Croagh Patrick on Patricksday. My idea was to start the climb before sunrise and then photograph the sunrise over Clew Bay from the top of Croagh Patrick. So I left the house around 3am, parked the car in the car park on the foot of the mountain and started to make my way up the mountain. I made up the mountain in good time..and this what it looked like on the summit:

(click on the images for a larger view)

It was foggy, extremely windy and freezing cold. Not exactly perfect conditions, so I decided to avoid certain death on the summit and made my way down. 

I met some hill walkers on their way up...the scene looked like something out of sci-fi movie...attack of the zombie walkers:)

Down again, Croagh Patrick covered in clouds. 

And from further away

Croagh Patrick with his head in the clouds...what a sight. 

Next stop, Silver Strand, Mayo 20km from Croagh Patrick

Another brilliant idea I had, was to camp out in the wild. Camp. Near a beach. In Ireland. In March. Let's just say, it was a pretty stupid idea. The night was freezing cold and I didn't get much sleep. But the sunset over the Atlantic was pretty nice.

I really enjoyed the sunrise the next morning, it wasn't the most spectacular sunrise ever, but the light was very nice.

Early morning Silver Strand

And the sheep were up too.

Looking back

One of my personal favorites from the trip

It was time for me to leave Silver Strand and make the most out of the morning light. So I decided to head back towards Connemara, through Doo Lough Valley. 

Reflections, Doo Lough

Hello sunshine!

The famous fishing boats Doo Lough

Doo Lough never dispappoints! A lonely tree...and a lonely sheep

Let's have a look at the tree

Looking into the valley

Time to leave Doo Lough Vally and head for Maumturk Mountains! More about that in part 2...

 

 

wildatlanticway-cliffs of moher coastal walk part2

The newly opened Cliffs of Moher coastal walk has attracted thousands of visitors since its opening in June 2013. And rightly so! The 16km long walking path along the Clare coast has to be one of Ireland's most scenic walks. After walking and photographing the section between Doolin and  the Cliffs of Moher in April, it was time to try out the southern part of the trail between Liscannor and the Cliffs of Moher. 

The trail is part of the Burren way, and by extension, part of the newly opened Wild Atlantic Way.

The southern section of the trail is slightly shorter and easier to walk than the the Doolin section, it takes about 1.5 hrs to get from the car park to the visitor centre. Speaking of car parks, I'd ignore the official car park, and use Pat Nagle's privately owned car park instead. The official car park is free of charge, but Pat's car park is much closer to the trail head and parking is only 2 Euro per car. 

There is no parking available along the roads! 

Enough said, time to get walking! By the way, the pictures in this blog post are from two visits to the trail. 

Click on the pictures!

Pat Nagle's car park, about 0.5km from the trail head

And off we go!

Hag's Head, starting point of the trail

One thing that always strikes me is, how much quieter this part of the cliffs is, compared to the area around the visitor center. Even on a nice summer day, Hag's Head is never crowded with people. 

View south from Hag's Head

Trail ahead! Looking north from the trail head towards the Cliffs of Moher. 

Balconies! 

It's a bird watchers paradise! 

A sea gull getting ready to land

Time for part two of the walk, evening time on the cliffs.

Traffic free zone:)

View towards the Cliffs of Moher, you can see O'Brien's tower on the cliff top.

Evening light

Welcome to miniature land!:)

And that was - almost - it. Late afternoon, early evening is probably the best time to walk the 6 km from Liscannor to the cliffs. I'm not sure which section I prefer, probably the Doolin side of the trail, I find  the rock formations are a bit more impressive. The Liscannor is easier to walk though. Choices, choices..... 

Sunset over Bangkok....erhh...miniature land