Sunday, 11 March 2012

Ireland 2007

I spent 2 weeks in July 2007 walking in Ireland. Took a flight to Belfast from Manchester then by bus to Newcastle, County Down.

I did a day's walk in the Mourne Mountains, up to Slieve Donard then over Slievelamagan and Slieve Binnian.

Slieve Donard and the "Ice House"

A storm in the Mournes

me, on Slievelamagan

view from Slieve Binnian, looking towards Donard


 The next stage of  my trip was a walk along the North Antrim coast, from Ballycastle to Portstewart, with an overnight stay at a hostel in Ballintoy. I went to Carrick-a-rede over the rope bridge, and enjoyed the dramatic scenery of  The Causeway coast.

Carrick-a-rede rope bridge

 looking east from Carrick-a-rede

 Carrick-a-rede rope bridge

 Carrick-a-rede (Rathlin Island in distance)

 Whitepark Bay

 Dunseverick castle

Causeway coast

  Causeway coast

 Causeway coast

 Causeway coast

 Causeway coast

 Giant's Causeway

 Giant's Causeway

After my  coastal walk and a night in Derry, I took a bus journey to Galway (it took most of the day to get there) then a bus to Clifden, Connemara. I wanted to stay at the Ben Lettery youth hostel, but they were full.
I did a little walk along the road up the coast from Clifden and a big walk in The 12 Bens, which was quite tough going but a fine walk amongst these rugged mountains.

 Clifden, Connemara



Ben Lettery

  me, on Ben Lettery

Continuing my journey, I took a bus from Galway to Tralee, and then a bus to Cloghane on the north side of the Dingle peninsula. This bus only runs on a Friday, so I based my itinary around being on this bus with the intention of climbing Mount Brandon from Cloghane. This I did manage to achieve, but the conditions were not good and I got no views at all from the summit. It was a fine walk though, and one that I would like to do again in better weather.

I had a good night in Dingle at Dick mack's pub, then took a bus to Killarney via Tralee. From Killarney, I followed the Kerry Way to the Black Valley, through the Muckross estate and passing by Torc waterfall and taking in a diversion to Torc Mountain (great views of Lough Leane from there). Made my base for the next few days at the Black Valley Hostel

Torc waterfall

Lough Leane from Torc Mountain

Macgillycuddy's Reeks from Upper Lake

 Black Valley
The highlight of my trip was a traverse of the Reek's ridge and standing on top of Carrauntoohil, Ireland's highest peak. I got to the top just in time before the weather started to close in , it was a long (and wet) walk back to the hostel along the Kerry Way, but I didn't care.

MacGillycuddy's reeks

 Ascending to the Reek's ridge

 Carrauntoohil from Cruach Mor

 Carrauntoohil from Reek's ridge

 me, on Carrauntoohil

After my exertions on the Reeks ridge, the next walk was an easy one up the road to the Gap of Dunloe and Glas Lough, below Purple Mountain.

Purple Mountain and Glas Lough


The last stage of my walk was to continue the Kerry Way to Glenbeigh, with an overnight stop at the Climber's Inn Glencar. The room was nice enough, and Kitchen facilities were good. But the bar was a let down, they didn't do meals, though they did open the shop up to buy food to cook.
 Black Valley

mountains and stream on the Kerry Way
 The final stage of my walk was from Glencar to Glenbeigh, not a difficult walk and good views across Dingle Bay.

Kerry Way from Windy Gap
 Glenbeigh and Dingle Bay