The West of Ireland, by Foot

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Nervous, shoeless feet waiting in the airport. Going through security never quite goes as smoothly for me as it seems to for others. It all started being tricky when I was growing up and wore a back brace with metal that set off the alarms. Now it’s tricky because of the many random metal containing objects that have accumulated in the bottom of every bag I own. Hopefully I managed to remove all the dangerous ones (crochet hooks got me last time). 
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Slightly more relaxed feet on the other side of security. Only thing that got searched was my computer – apparently it has to go through the scanner in its own plastic bucket. 
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Eager feet in terminal B. I really just wanted the flight to take off much sooner than later.
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Feet (or at least one foot) made it to Ireland! The first stop was Bunratty castle in County Clare where my Great Grandfather Patrick McDonald hailed from. He never entered this castle turret though…no ancestor of mine was much more than a Peasant.
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Foot feeling slightly trapped in Bunratty castle as the tour guide explained how the towers were designed for battle. I don’t think I would have lasted very long back in the day.
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Foot, flower, foot. We spent the first three nights of our stay in Doolin in County Clare. A small, farming village on the edge of the Burren, Cliffs of Moher, Atlantic Ocean and unreal beauty.
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Tired feet after a many hour hike through the Burren National Park. They had never tread on so many wildflowers.
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Most content feet. The cliffs of Moher, despite what my father says, were my favorite part of the trip. Breathtakingly beautiful and serene, it is the most romantic place these feet have ever been.
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Feet heavy with the weight of immense loss that the Irish people, including my ancestors, suffered during the famine of the mid-1800s. 
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Foot overlooking the town of Newport in County Mayo. Its invisible partner (my left foot) stood on the bike path that runs through Westport and Newport to Achill Island, a hidden treasure on the western shore of the Emerald Isle.
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Feet perched on the top of a mountain in Connemara National Park. Despite the fog, the view was beautiful.
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A very pleased foot at the presence of steps leading down this mountain. Croagh Patrick, due to the thousands of tourists, locals and pilgrims that summit it each year, has suffered from considerable erosion resulting in a wide path of treacherously loose gravel.
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A foot’s eye view across Galway bay, the last view my Great Grandfather Patrick McDonald would have had of his home country, on my final evening in Ireland.
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Feet moving bright and early on the morning of departure. Sad to be leaving, but excited for the next adventure.

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