Corkscrew Hill lies on the road between Ballyvaughan and Lisdoonvarna, which slices through the heart of the Burren. The road climbs the notorious hill with four switchbacks that take you to the viewpoint. This is a great place to get a feel for the character of the Burren. You look north east up a fertile valley, comprised of glacial till, towards Ballyvaughan and over Galway Bay. The bare terraced limestone ridges that frame each side are the signature of The Burren. To the east is Turlough Hill and Slievecarran and to the west Gleninagh Mountain. It is always difficult to capture a panoramic view such as this but I had a go. Do I go wide or zoom in on the mountains? Couldn’t decide so I did both.
As did the travellers who disgorged themselves from their tour bus for a five-minute stop. I chatted to the driver Tom. They had left Galway that morning and were en route to the Cliffs of Moher before heading to Killarney where they would spend the night. That’s a lot to cover in one day, so the Burren was allocated just those five minutes. I asked Tom if they would see anything else, such as Poulnabrone. “Bit out of the way”, he says and lowering his voice to a whisper adds “and I don’t thing any of these guys would be very interested”.
As the bus continued its way up the hill, I returned to my quiet contemplation of the vista, grateful that circumstances had given me so much more than those five minutes.