I drove to Galway city on Wednesday morning, a hundred mile round trip from Clifden town. It’s a journey I make about once a month and usually out of necessity when I have a sufficient amount of errands to run. This particular morning was beautiful – crisp and sunny and still. Fortunately I had my camera with me so I was able to pull in at Ballinafad and take some pictures. You might think that I’ve photoshopped these but it’s the real thing and exactly as it was ( I’m not a great fan of photoshop, especially when it comes to landscape ). This is the N59 looking towards Galway with ‘Lissoughter’ and ‘Binn Ramhar’ mountains on the left.
Here’s the road looking back towards Clifden with the lower slopes of Benn Lettery on the right and Ballinahinch Lake to the left.
And here’s the view south west taking in the lake and forest beyond.
Facing south now and some gorgeous reflections in the lake which was as clear and still as glass – the posts supporting the new saplings, the tree line of the forest and the fisherman’s beats outside this little shed. I love the grasses too, golden like burnt caramel and warm to the eye.
I find myself marveling at it all and the fact that I live in such a beautiful part of the country. I think back to the first time I took this road about twenty years ago and the thoughts that ran through my head. It was like going deeper and deeper in to the unknown, into a kind of wilderness. The water almost touches the road in places as it twists and turns around the lakes ( much narrower then ) and I remember finding this a bit unnerving. The remoteness of the landscape, which seemed to recede in to itself further and further was more than a little daunting for a city girl like me but the extraordinary beauty of the place was unmistakable. You might imagine that you would get used to it, stop seeing it perhaps and begin to take it all for granted but this simply isn’t true. Every season brings a change and each season has it’s own special kind of beauty and moments like these in Ballinafad are made for savouring.