A good dinner last night in a small restaurant that specialised in matching beers to courses, and a good nights sleep in a central and very comfortable B&B. This morning we had time for an explore of Dingle or a bit further. I chose to walk out of town alongside the bay or harbour – its a really enclosed bay, with just a small gap out into the sea.
We took a ferry across the Shannon to leave Kerry and enter Clare. Only 20 minutes, but a real excitement. And I saw two big power stations. The one in Kerry seemed to be mothballed – an oilburner, maybe too expensive today. The one on the Clare side is the biggest in Ireland, said Paul, and a coal burner. The ship unloading is likely to be from Poland.
On to the Burren – a highlight of the trip for me. I’ve always loved limestone pavement, and to see a whole landscape of it was great. We had an hour to explore. Four of the group headed for a hilltop. I wandered off alone. The silence was amazing. The only vehicle I heard was a Burren National Park minibus. Barely a bird singing, its a dry and harsh landscape, but the detail is rich.
Limestone is not very porous, its only the joints that allow water to pass through freely, so some odd features can develop.
The Ice Sheet which scraped away all the soil from this landscape was responsible for depositing this boulder. This one is Carboniferous limestone like the rest of the Burren, but some Erratics are of a very different rock to the locality.
A range of plants manage to survive, thrive even, in the deep solution hollows called grikes. A little soil hangs on in them, and the shade helps conserve moisture. But that is no explanation for this huge, brittle . . . what? Perhaps a big lichen?
The team make it to the top, and when they get down we can head for the Burren brewery in Lisdoonvarna. When they get down.