for writers and readers….
I visited the Burren many years ago – it’s an extraordinary landscape and Ali Isaac has captured both the beauty and the stories that lie just under the surface. Cromwell’s army didn’t think much of it: “It is a country where there is not enough water to drown a man, wood enough to hang one, nor earth enough to bury him” (Quote from Ludlow, commanding officer of Parliament’s campaign against the Irish in 1650s)
Last weekend, I hiked part of the Burren Trail with my friend, walking buddy and guide, Jenni. The Burren is an expanse of karst landscape located in Co Clare, stretching some 250 km between the villages of Ballyvaghan, Kinvara, Tubber, Corofin and Lisdoonvarna. Its name derives from the Irish Boireann, meaning ‘great rock’, or ‘stony place’.
The unique rocky lunar-like appearance of the Burren is due to it being composed of huge limestone pavements gouged by the last ice age. Over time, fissures and cracks have formed along lines of weakness, and these are called ‘grikes’. The slabs between grikes are known as ‘clints’.
Jenni advised me not to step on any patches of greenery; although they look solid, they often disguise grikes, which can be quite deep, causing the unsuspecting walker to fall and sustain injuries. I did get caught out by one or two, too busy applying my…
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