Wednesday, 11 May 2016

May 11 2016

Connemara Tour

As we travel the winding roads of Ireland often slowing down for grazing sheep and frisky lambs our eyes are blessed by the changing landscapes.  Travels this day took us through the savage beauty of  the wild and rugged Connemara region.  


Our wise and informative tour guide explained how the landscape came to be as a result of glaciers and erosion. The bog fields were exceeding interesting. 

There are two different kinds of bog, raised and peat both used for fuel. Bog is created over thousands of years of decomposition of the land.  A kind of moss covers the land and underneath the bog developes. Raised bog runs 30 - or 
feet deep. Farmers rake the bog and gather the dust and seal it with wax.  These are created into bales of 24 and sold for heat.

Peat is the other. Blankets area to a depth of 10 - 12 feet.  It fav take 100 years just to create a one inch piece of peat for burning in stoves. 

Bogs are quite moist so trenches are dug to drain off the water. And the peat is left to dry. The more dry the better thequality of the peat. The peat is harvested by hand not tractor to honour the earth. 

Rectangular pieces are cut and left to dry.  I can hardly do justice to the entire process of harvesting the bog landscapes. 

We visited the beautiful and magnificent Kylemore Abby and learned about its history as a Benedictin Abby and then school for girls. The most incredible walled gardens are found in the same area.  The entire area surrounding the Abby is absolutely beautiful, serene, quiet and spiritually engaging. 

Later we visit the memorable St. Brigit gardens that honour the cycles of nature and the wisdom of the ancient Celtic spirituality. Amazing.   These are award winning Celtic gardens and widely regarded as one of the most spectacular in Ireland. I concur with that critique. 

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