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Why Should You Travel In A Traditional Irish Way?
Juliana Daniel Updated on Dec 09, 2022

As you ride further down into the bog, You see a manufactured structure that resembles a temple constructed from turves (long, narrow bricks produced from peat) placed in a dome and dry in the wind. As we passed through more towns, many people kept turves in open sheds in their backyards. After pedaling around Roundstone Bog for less than an hour, it became evident that peat chopping is not quaint but a long-forgotten aspect of the Irish way to travel. Peat bog, a wetland where deceased plant material doesn't decompose but instead slowly accumulates, thrives in the abundant rain brought by the wind that blows over the Atlantic Ocean towards western Ireland and breaks across to the other Connemara's mountains. Peat, gathered from either the ground but instead dried, is an explosive that has been used for heating homes, flavoring whiskey, and preserving Ireland's heritage for generations.

Places You Must See In Ireland

Take A Shannon Cruise

Nothing is better than taking a cruise on Ireland's longest river, the Shannon. If you're the captain, you get to decide where you'll set sail and where you'll dock. Feel the tranquility of Lough Derg, visit the beautiful town of Garrykennedy, and spend a bit more time in the charming community of Terryglass.

View The Most Incredible Sunsets In Ireland

Doolin Pier in picturesque Clare has stunning sunset views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Aran Islands, and Galway Bay; don't miss it! Those on the eastern seaboard may enjoy a breathtaking display of color as the sun sets over Dublin's Killiney Hill and the bay and mountains.

Cultural Center At Pearse

As you rode your bike through the little Paris hamlet Camus Oughter, You came upon an honesty box with Green Bee goods. Tea enhanced with Green Bee's heather honey, which you bought on a whim, is now sweeter and more viscous, with a hint of woody-floral flavor. Later, you wrote Donna Sturm and Edwin Smyth of Green Bee to inquire about the source of their honey's superior taste and aroma. "Seasonal flower availability enables us to generate three distinct forms of honey: warmer months honey, early fall honey, and heather honey," they said. The blanket bogs which thus cover this region of Connemara are responsible for the abundant growth of ling heather plants, which in turn provide the highest grade heather, honey.

Bike Shop In Clifden

To begin, you take a bus from Galway City to Clifden, the "capital of Connemara," where you rent a bike through the Clifden Bike Shop to avoid riding over the busiest portion of N59 (this same national main route that crosses through Connemara). While bicycling through Roundstone Bog, you will see indications of human modification, such as the straight lines where peat was hand-cut and the piles of turves. However, nature also had a role. The bare peat was being colonized by plants, mosses, and lichens, transforming it into a bog. Bog water had returned to hollows created by peat clearance when we left Roundstone Bog and continued east along local road L1205.

The Aran Islands

Afterward, you went to the little town of Rossaveal to catch a boat to the biggest Aran Islands, Inis Mór, where you spent the next several days. When you returned to the mainland, you became sidetracked by the allure of taking the coastal route beyond Carna, despite the early sunset that time of year. You ended up getting to Ballynahinch Castle in the dark. A reflection of the hotel's lights in Owenmore River was your first glimpse of the former estate. Fortifying myself with Micil Distillery peated whiskey was a great way to unwind after hauling your bike panniers up to your room and changing out of filthy clothing.

Conclusion

You were riding your bike across Roundstone Bog throughout Connemara, County Galway, when you came upon a flock of free-range sheep wandering all over the road and the boggy environment. After getting off the road to snap a picture, you saw that muck was oozing around your foot. Land and water are inseparable in the peat bogs of Ireland. As you rode more deeply into the swamp, You saw an artificial structure that resembled a temple constructed from turves (long, narrow bricks produced from peat) placed in a dome to evaporate in the wind. As we passed through more towns, many people kept turves in open sheds in their backyards. After pedaling around Roundstone Bog for less than an hour, it became evident that peat chopping is not quaint but a long-forgotten aspect of Irish society.