We set out on a loop from Bundoran to Manorhamilton, on to Rosinver, then back to Bundoran. We started with the farmers market in Manorhamilton that turned out to be very, very small. After buying a few things, we went in search of a ring fort and we found a site, but it wasn’t the one we were looking for.  Having mostly struck out, we saw a small hand painted sign at the start of the last leg of the drive that said “Scenic Drive” and so we turned that way. The map showed a route between a bog and a lake, possibly a good spot for some birdwatching.The road turned out to be a narrow lane, where the plants brush against both sides of the car. The bog was either on the side of or over the top of the mountain and we were on a hiillside far above the lake, Lough Melvin. The sun was out and the view was gorgeous over blue water and islands, with Bundoran and the sea in the far distance. It could not have been lovelier. We picnicked and looked out over the lake with our binoculars and realized there was NO ONE on the lake from one end to the other. It’s a Friday afternoon of a national holiday weekend (August Bank Holiday) in a popular tourist area and not one single person was on Lough Melvin. We decided to go down to the edge of the Lough. We found a perfect place, a tiny rowboat harbor and boat launch ramp. No one was there, despite the boats. We strolled along the shore and were met by three horses and a pony checking to see whether they knew us. After they trotted off, we walked the edge of the lough, which is pebbly and rocky. You’d need water shoes, but the water is warmer than the ocean.  Perhaps with the ocean so near, no one bothers with the Lough except to fish. In the US, there would be a giant development somewhere along the lake. As we walked along the shore, we found fragments of glass and pottery that had been tumbled in the water. It was some of our best beach combing, and there was no beach.

After our long stroll marveling at the absence of people, the bright sunny day, great sights and finds, we headed for home, and saw an animal cross the road. Almost as dark as a black cat but with a weasel head. It may have been a pine marten. Another rarity capping a rare day.

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