This time, we actually arrived at the bog, but only because we decided not to take our art supply packs. Otherwise, we would have stopped again before we ever got there, enchanted by the meadows along the path.
There is some conjecture as to how far we actually hiked. Our theory was we walked eight miles. Chances are it was more like four. But it felt like eight, and so that's what we're sticking with. :)
The Sive trail begins with a walk through a meadow. Lightly mown trail, uneven and soft. This is where we stopped the last time. The trail continues along partially paved back roads lined with blackberry bushes and wild roses. The black berries were delicious and easy to reach.
So my favorite movie of Ireland is "P.S. I Love You", which to this day makes me grab a box of tissues from the first scene.
"Abstract Landscape, Ireland" - watercolor on paper
And as we made the turn onto the back roads, I felt immediately transported into the movie, with rolling hillsides and gently curving one-lane roads. I fully expected Hillary Swank to be strolling down the lane and meet her true love. The countryside here is truly just like you see in the movies.
The bog is an integral part of life here in Listowel. Most families have their own plot of bog land, and it is an annual tradition for the family to gather at the bog and cut and stack the turf. Once dry, the turf is used for heating in the winter.
You might be wondering just exactly what a bog is! Check out this link for more info: Ireland's Peat Bogs
There were cows along the way, who would flock to the fence and low at us as we stopped to take photos. True grass-fed animals, with green food as far as the eye can see.
It was a much longer walk than we anticipated (either that or we are really out of shape from eating beef pie and drinking Guinness!), and we were two tired artists when we finally arrived back at the flat.
Though there were no castles or towering ruins along the path, this was the most amazing walk, saturated with fresh air, verdant landscape and rolling clouds. We will return again, this time with art packs in tow.