by Sean Harnett
August 10, 2000
I started it, awkwardly enough, from the Leenane side, where it runs innocently enough along a metalled road through bog, then through farmland until it becomes a trail running precipitously above the south rim of the fjord.
That day, it was was just me on the trail, the sheep and the spectacular scenery: Ireland's Atlantic coast is rugged, and nowhere more so than here, where the Atlantic has made a dagger-cut five miles into the country.
The weather -- which had turned sunny around midday -- became more inclement with the evening, until I was walking in a spiteful summer storm, half-blinded by sea-smelling rain. And I loved it: high above the hard sea, among gray serrated mountains, soaking wet, I felt my worries slip away as I found what I had come looking for: wildness, which is truly rare in Ireland.
The trail ran out to nothing about a half-mile before the end of the fjord, so I followed a low stone wall through a farmer's barren field until I came to a small road. Turning left, I came to the hostel -- which is the last building in the village of Roscoe – in less than a minute. The hostel is located in an old school building and is functional, at best. Still, the dining room has huge windows that make a landscape of the view (looking out to sea) and the common room has comfortable couches and an open fire. Plus, the showers are hot and powerful.
From journal A Wet Weekend in Connemara