Click on the image for a bigger version.
When I lived in east Galway, there was a row of houses across the road from a nearby lake – each with a fine view of the water. Except one, because the owner had installed a big fountain (hugely oversized for the garden) in front of the house and partially blocking the view of the lake. And every time I walked past the house, I wondered the same thing – why ?
There is little danger of the fountain in front of the Leenane Hotel blocking the view of Killary Harbour – there is a huge extension under construction at the hotel at present – it looks like they are building hostel accomodation. They should have no problem filling them – Leenane is the nexus of some of the most beautiful hillwalks in the country – and the Leenane Walking Festival – begun 2 years ago – has been massively oversubscribed both times – it’s on the May Bank Holiday weekend every year.
I stayed in the hotel 2 years ago, and the highpoint was waking up at dawn and looking out the window at Killary Fjord and seeing the wonderful morning light – that’s when I took this picture of nearby Aasleagh Falls.¹
The Irish Times have included a guide to Irish Walks – it includes most of the crowd-pleasers including a walk along Leenane Hill, along the same route I took myself a few weeks ago. It’s not quite the same breathless guff that afflicts the Times weekend travel supplement, though the description of the Leenane Hill walk refers to the last part as being part of the ‘notorious Western Way’. If you’d ever actually done the walk, that ‘notorious’ part is the easiest and flattest part of the walk back to Leenane.
It won’t be like this during the Leenane Walking Festival in May – picture shows members of the Galway Walking Club ascending Leenane Hill ‘up through the middle’ of the valley – the village is visible below as is Killary Fjord. Click on the image for a bigger version.
¹ Correction – the original post didn’t have the link to the picture.