As I mentioned, I wasn’t sure what to expect out of the Burren Park. What I found in this next area exceeded any expectations I might have decided to have. Not for the first time, I stumbled into a pretty fantastic place and had my mind blown a bit.
The biggest downer about all this is the rush I was in. My peaceful sit in the forest was lovely, but it ate up valuable time, and I not only had to get down to town by the dinner hour, I needed to arrive with enough time to make myself at least vaguely presentable, given that I would be at one of the top restaurants in all of Ireland. This means that despite all my efforts to build a buffer, I really didn’t have much time to explore this place, as I hadn’t realized I would need time to do so.
I explored it anyway, because wow, you do not end up in places like this frequently or sometimese ever. And I suffered the consequences, mostly involving me literally running between amazing monuments and segments of trail, as well as getting sufficiently stressed to misread maps and end up in the wrong place several times resulting in MORE running. But but but. Cool things. They were observed, let me show you them.
First off this:
Said to be the resting place of a giant who got killed being kind of an idiot in an attempt to impress a lady giant he had the hots for
See he and this other giant dared each other to jump over a huge chasm (the Giant’s Leap, which we will see at least at a distance in a minute) to prove who was the baddest ass and therefore most deserving of the giantess’ love (one wonders how far back in her head her eyes rolled at this proposed metric for bachelor eligibility). Both of them jumped it just fine, begging the question of where one goes from there – fortunately or unfortunately, the giant buried here took it upon himself to escalate by jumping over the chasm backwards, which unsurprisingly did not go well. At least he got a rad tomb and an enduring myth out of the deal. I kind of hope the giantess ignored the other dude after all this ridiculousness and went off to hang out with giant mountain cats forever or something
The Calf’s House Dolmen was the next awesome thing I saw – so called becaused it was modified into a livestock shelter at one point
Fionn’s Fist is a glacial erratic that really does look very fist-like, named after Fionn Mac Cumhaill (Finn MacCool), epic warrior of legend
Tullygobban Lough, which was basically a natural upwelling of water that was later modified into a larger lake for human use. Also, here is where the rains got my camera lens, which will be a recurring issue for most of the rest of the day, alas. Even more annoying because I actually didn’t mean to go to this lake, but to somewhere else instead, this being the first of the many trail misdirects my haste inadvertantly set me on
Closer to the stones
The ravine this path leads into is the Giant’s Leap of our earlier stories
I rushed on through the Burren Park, where I spent far more time than I could really afford between ogling the amazing monuments and being distracted by my own anxiety. Finally, however, I reached the edge of it and set out on the final stretch of the Cavan Way. (continued in next post)