Magic Amongst the Hills (and sheep) of Connemara

Of all the things I did in Ireland there are two experiences that continue to resonate with me now that I am home. The first was a stop in the Inagh Valley with the Extreme Ireland Tour, which I will write about later. The second was a stop with the same tour at the Killary Sheep Farm. I am sure the handsome owner who showed us around has something to do with my mind straying back there, but the place certainly holds a strong magic all its own.

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View of the fjords and lower hill

Upon arrival you are outfitted with Wellies, raincoat, and a walking stick, which I was grateful for since I made the genius decision to be fashionable for once rather than practical.

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Not a practical outfit for slogging through mud. Don’t wear this.

Once outfitted against the elements you get to see a rather impressive demonstration of one of the dogs rounding up the sheep and herding them from one field to another, a more complicated process than you may think.

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Each farm has it’s own identifying color(s) for it’s sheep Photo credit: Shannon O’Connor

From there it’s a short walk up and across the hill to the bogs where you learn about the harvesting and uses for peat (turf). You are given the opportunity to participate in its harvesting, which I unfortunately declined due to the rain and my general clumsiness, but the man from Pittsburgh who helped sure looked like he was having fun.

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Photo credit: Shannon O’Connor

 

The views on your way back are astounding and it strongly reminds me of my briefly former home in Seward, Alaska with its rain, spongy earth, and majestic sights. The Killary farmlands sit on a hillside dotted with sheep, overlooking glacier carved fjords. The air is bracing, reviving and the energy and magic of the place is tangible and awe inspiring. (I wish I could better convey this, but you’ll just have to go and see for yourself.)

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Overall, Killary Sheep Farm provides a necessary respite from the hustle and bustle of city life and scheduled tourism as well as allowing its visitors a moment to forget their regular lives and bask in the experience of life in the countryside.

Killary Sheep Farm is located in Connemara, near Galway. Please visit their website here for more information and directions on how to get there.

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I look a bit like a Russian babushka. Enjoy. Photo credit: Shannon O’Connor

 

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