Photographer's Note

Last weekend I had a pleasure to visit one of my favourite counties in Ireland: County Mayo. We have spent two days on the largest Irish island: Achill Island, which is connected to the mainland via a bridge. There is a simple rule which I found to be true while travelling across Ireland: the further you get from Dublin the more beautiful is the landscape and people become friendlier.

At the westernmost tip of the island you can find Keem Bay which has one of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland. It is a Blue Flag Beach. To fully appreciate it you must however see it in the sunshine which you probably won’t. We have waited with our trip for so called “settled” weather with a very good forecast promising sun, no wind and relative warmth (13 C). Checked in the morning of our departure the forecast was still fantastic, but it turned out to be another false promise. NEVER TRUST IRISH WEATHER FORECAST. County Mayo is so great however that in spite of freezing wind and overcast you can enjoy your time there.

Keem Beach is hidden among high hills having clean white sand and green coloured waters. There is a trailhead to a viewpoint to Croaghaun, Europe second highest cliffs (688 m) which are more than 3 times higher than the famous Cliffs of Moher. The trailhead and the trail itself is however hard to find as it is not marked (mountain trails are not marked in Ireland). This surely adds to the adventure as you find yourself often surrounded by the wet areas. So don't wear your favourite shoes :)

You may have heard that Ireland is proud of its 40 shades of green. Most of the year, however, the hills look rather brownish as in this photo. Just in the summer the green color takes over the country.

Most sheep which we met in County Mayo were black with white wool. They are not afraid of cars, sometimes persistently blocking the street, yet they do not like to pose for photos. I spend a lot of time photographing them but I am not entirely happy with the outcome. In this photo they are captured with the fragment of the Keem Beach as a background. Down below you can see two other sheep on the grass, they will help you to imagine the size of the beach.

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Additional Photos by Mariusz Kamionka (mkamionka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7423 W: 106 N: 19486] (74607)
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