Storm before sunrise in Achill Island, Ireland

Path to the North

My mind subjugated by the dancing tunes of Irish violins, I am writing the continuation of this adventure from a remote pub. After crossing quite quickly the south-west coast of the island, I am currently heading towards the goal of this trip, the Holy Grail of most of my travels: North.

It must be carved in my DNA. Whatever the country, I am always attracted by its northern part. When I look on a map, my eyes are automatically attracted by the upper part of it; when I plan a trip, the first countries I am thinking about are the northern ones; and when I travel in a country, North is the place I am hopping up and down with impatience to go to. This is then clockwise that this trip continues.

Landscapes get wilder and more dramatic; cliffs become higher and climate switches from rain to sunshine in a few minutes. As we start to cross the northern half of Ireland, the first rough landscapes show up: limestone formations of Burren, bogs of Connemara and tattered cliffs of Achill Island. One can feel entering in a wild Ireland in which inhabitants forged strong links with capricious wilderness.

Lights are not as dramatic as I expected . Sky is covered by a layer of clouds and fog every morning and evening, diminishing the impact of the golden rays of a sun skirting with horizon. However, these forever hunted lights – delight of landscape photographers – give place to others at least as interesting… If you dare giving them a chance. These lights are softer and tend to lead your mind to a peaceful and silent world, a silence sometimes broken by the regular sound of waves and sea birds’ peep.

After capturing the last shots of these magical instants, the last subtleties of this soft light, I walk back to my tent. On the way, an old fisherman going to pick up the fruit of his labour salutes me. A new day is about to begin.

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