Aside from, you know, the time I spent studying for an MSc, the year I spent living in Dublin was full of awesome side trips to the far extremities of the country. We went camping on Inis Mór, surfing in the Atlantic in December, and on fruitless sea eagle searches in Killarney National Park. Despite this, the list of places I want to go to in Ireland is still as long as my arm, but last week it was reduced to slightly below shoulder length with a visit to Ballynahinch, in County Galway.

There’s always a chance that when you go to somewhere as romanticised as Connemara it won’t live up to expectations. Rarely have I paid more attention to the weather forecast for the three days we were planning on being there last week- and, typically for the west of Ireland, we experienced everything from t-shirt weather on the beach to thick blankets of cloud and drizzle. Thankfully, I managed to drive down to Derryclare Lough on the one evening where a break in the clouds seemed like a possibility. It was us, three sheep that were casually eating gorse on the roadside, and the view from the iconic lake, which serendipidously turned out to be 10 minutes from our hotel. We watched as the soft golden light swept across the Twelve Bens and I couldn’t believe we had been so lucky.

More on what we got up to over the next few weeks (teaser- it features one of these 🐋 ☺️)



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