August 2, Clifden

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToday we celebrated our 39th wedding anniversary with a kiss atop Diamond Hill in the Connemara National Park. We asked a French woman to take our picture and everyone tsked-tsked us to stop kissing. After climbing up 400 meters (over 1300 ft) in blustery 60 to 80 mph winds, we were happy to embrace and commemorate our special day. (To see how windy it was, click on the link and notice how the umbrella flies at 90 degrees from my body. 2013-08-02-Clifden 038.)

As we climb, the wind was very strong and cold. My nose was dripping and before I could pull out a hankie, the wind blew the snot right off the mountain. At times, it was all I could do to stay where I was, waiting for the wind to die down a bit before taking the next step.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt the summit, we were rewarded with a break in the wind, a bit of sunshine, and fantastic views. We could see Kylemore Abbey, which was built as a wedding gift and is now a tourist attraction and abbey for Benedictine nuns. Dennis and I exchanged platinum rings as wedding gifts; he did not build me a castle, though I have often claimed to be Queen of Blanchardom.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn our loop walk, we spotted the Connemara ponies, known for their athleticism, versatility and good disposition, and a donkey. Since it was so windy, we did not see any of the Connemara carnivorous plants. As we sat at the summit eating a banana, I did see a yellow jacket…how it managed to fly in that wind is a wonder.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA We returned to the Vaughan B & B in Clifden, had a celebratory meal and bottle of wine, and retired early. Tomorrow is a travel day; we will make our way to Belfast.

About The Author

Jane V. Blanchard

I am an award-winning author of the "Woman On Her Way" book series, writing about my travel adventures. For more information on the books, please visit I started the "Woman On Her Way" travel blog in 2013 to share my experiences as I explored 13 countries with my husband, traveling by ship, foot, bike, bus, train, and plane. Dennis and I continue to make memories and hope you will enjoy following along.

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