With good weather forecast for the west of Ireland over the August Bank Holiday weekend, I decided, along with two friends, Piotr and Natasza, to head for the mountains of Connemara. These quartzite hills, (hills or mountains?, this became a discussion point over the weekend,) have intrigued me since I first visited them back in January, and I was keen to explore them further. Approaching the summit of Leenaun Hill. We arrived around Saturday lunchtime, and parked up in the small lough side village of Leenaun, snuggled at the eastern end of Killary Harbour, a long narrow fjord, (the only

The strange geology of the Burren – Slieve Roe from Mullaghmor in the Burren NP. The Burren, on Ireland’s west coast in the county of Clare, is an area of limestone rising to a modest 300 metres above the nearby sea level. The limestones, from the Carboniferous period, were formed 340 million years ago in a warm shallow sea, and subsequent erosion and the scouring action of glaciers that receded 10,0000 years ago, have exposed these limestones at the surface. Fossil corals This is a karst landscape, weather worn into limestone pavement of clints, grikes and runnels, with sink holes and underground cave systems. Fossils

2012 was one of the wettest years on record in Ireland, and particularly so in the west, so this February it seemed like a good idea to head to Connemara and see for ourselves. Not as daft as it sounds, as February can be a cold, dry and sunny month, great for long views and memorable mountain days. However, our trip was presaged by the prospect of heavy rain showers and cloudy, windy weather. Our base for the four days was Clifden, a lively little town on the southwest of the range, but at this time of year,half closed for