That was one terrific walk!  Early fears that it would be too humid were dispelled by the arrival of nicely-moving grey clouds – never did we think we’d be grateful for such!  Four members ascended a clear track above the river from Coumyfaun Lake, then climbed steadily to Knocknamagh NE Top (629m) and continued northwards to “bag” Gullaba Hill, the “cow’s shoulder” itself (603m).   Views stretched from as far east as Musheramore & Mullaghanish, north and west gave the full range of the Reeks, with Mullaghanattin beyond, and south gave a distant glimpse of Bantry Bay and memories of Beara Border Walks past.  Magnificent!

We were accompanied all day by that quintessential summer soundtrack, the joyous song of the larks.  An abundance of wild flowers, the more welcome for being so late this year, cheered our progress with their colours; wild violet, bog cotton, tormentil, marsh orchid, and the wonderfully unique butterwort, just beginning to appear.  We took the long descent via the spur beside Lough Akinkeen, pausing to appreciate (and be terrified by!) the brooding majesty of the dark cliffs of the coomb, surmounted by Caoinkeen (the “nose”) 692m.  A short road-walk brought us back to our cars and well-deserved “99s” in Kilgarvan.

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