In France there is this very famous, very cheesy (but French cheesy) singer that basically everyone has listened to and loved at one point. He has a song about the lakes of Connemara that my brother and I know by heart. It's a bit bizarre that a French ballad singer has a hit song about Connemara in Ireland, but trust me it's catchy in that old fashioned early 90s kind of way. Click here for a link to a youtube video for your enjoyment.
The point here is that because of this song I've always wanted to see the Connemara. When my travel partner suggested Co Galway, location of the Connemara I got a little overexcited. Our aim was to be out in the country, staying at B&Bs (which are the best places to stay in Ireland) as much as possible. Ironically for Connemara I picked a hotel, though not our favorite, the Hotel Ardagh outside of Clifden still managed to feel very homey. Homey and home-made is something the Irish do well.
Connemara was magical. Travel exhaustion finally kicked in for both of us, and with ambitions to cycle around, we ended up passed out on a beautiful, empty, white-sanded beach. Laying out in the sun in Ireland is a rare and wonderful thing to do. The beaches, especially on the west coast are very wild. The blue of the water and the white of the sand make you think you could be in the Caribbean. Then you go into the water and freeze. That and the mooing of the cows munching on grass nearby remind you that you are not in the Gulf of Mexico.
The evening was spent enjoying a drink perched above the harbor in the lovely town of Roundstone, followed by a drive on the Sky Road to see the sun setting at 10:30 pm. We were sad to leave the next day, but the Dingle Peninsula awaited.