The Burren Way, Day 4: Fanore to Ballyvaughan 

So began our last hike of the trip. And it rained. And rained. (We have a history of vacations and rain). And the wind blew. But we still hiked the last 12k or so into Ballyvaughan. The weather forecast called for a 100% chance of rain until late in the afternoon, but with no other way get to our next destination we donned our rain gear and headed out. Our hosts in Fanore were kind enough to drive us up past part of our hike from the day before, which cut about 5k off the total. While we loved hiking the greenway, doing it again and in the rain wasn’t something we were keen on.

After we climbed out of the Caher Valley, we began a slow descent down towards Ballyvaughan. We were hiking along roads again, but there were a lot more trees that we had seen so far. We passed a ruined church that looked picturesque in the rain but other then that, it was heads down hiking.

We stopped for lunch at Newtown Castle which is home to the Burren Art College. While we were enjoying a cuppa, the rain really picked up. Still, we enjoyed the tea and climbing to the top of a restored circular castle. The last 2k of the hike were through fields, an open stone clearing, and a hazel wood. The hazel wood looked like the perfect setting for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We came across an intrepid group of hikers going on a guided walk, but left them to finish our hike by pass by some sheep, which made Ash incredibly happy. Also, the blackberries in this section seemed riper, so Ashley got distracted a bit more frequently.

We walked down to the bay after dinner and were treated to a gorgeous sunset. That’s right, the rain passed and our last day was nice and clear. We finished up with a bus and train ride back to Dublin, then hopped on a plane back home. The rest of the pictures that the rain permitted are here.

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