I was on my way to the Clonshire Equestrian and Polo Centre. Set in 120 acres of land, there are horses and ponies for the novice through to the most experienced rider.
This part of the country is hunting territory from the first of November through to St. Patrick's Day in March, with the Hunt hounds based at the centre, although the centre particularly emphasised that they didn't allow their own horses to participate.
On route to Connemara, I travelled through yet more beautiful countryside admiring the brightly coloured houses that blended into the scenery. Up through County Clare, I made a detour through The Burren, a huge expanse of rocky limestone land, to visit the Aillwee Caves.
Only part of the caves have been excavated, but enough to see where bears used to live, and admire the rock formations that have been created over many thousands of years.
I found to my cost that the little tea and coffee places one is so used to in England, hardly exist in the areas I visited. Here I also took advantage of stocking up on some of the local delicacies from their farm shop with its large variety of home-made cheeses and fudge.
Connemara must be one of the country's prettiest spots, situated alongside the Atlantic Ocean with the benefit of the warmth from the Gulf Stream. Abbeyglen Castle, a folly, built on a hill with views overlooking Lough Animma, was my next stop.
As a family-run hotel, with father and son very much in evidence, I experienced typical, if rather topsy-turvey, Irish hospitality. Guests enjoying a sing-song in the bar in the evenings were, I was told, typical of many pubs.
A lot of the area is National Parkland, and within it I visited the beautiful, imposing Kylemore Abbey, built as a neo-Gothic Castle, and regarded as one of Ireland's most romantic buildings.
Now, it is home to Benedictine Nuns, as well as an international girls' boarding school. Although it is not possible to visit a lot of the Abbey, I was able to see the restored church, built as a miniature cathedral, and the Victorian walled garden incorporating formal flowers and kitchen gardens, filled with vegetables and herbs.
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