• Gougane Barra Horseshoe

You can see why Finbarr picked out this gem of a hideaway for his praying and mindfulness. On Sunday last you couldn’t help but be awed by the serenity of this magnificent place, and while there was a slight din from the odd tourist and walker, the over-all scene was one of peace and tranquillity.  14 walkers started out from outside Cronin’s coffee shop to traverse the heights around Gougane in a clockwise direction.  The walk started at the back of the “thatched” public toilets just beyond the chapel.  Up to Foiliastookeen @ 500 mts and on then to Lough Glas. From there it’s down to an unnamed lake and then up again to the northern ledge above Gougane where we traversed our way, stopping for lunch, in a gentle cool breeze.  Then it was on further to another unnamed lake where we met our weekly correspondent and continued to our descent at Foilashrone where the walkers had to exercise plenty of focus and concentration to negotiate high grass and hidden bog-holes and indeed hidden streams. Happy to report, though, that we didn’t lose any of our crew to such “perils.”  The day was warm and the walking nice and casual. The heat was quite energy-sapping with a lot of empty water- bottles in evidence by the time we returned to Cronin’s.  There, we met with the Slí Gaeltacht Mhuscraí crew for a welcome coffee and slice of cake – though I did see some “cool” shandies being ordered as well.

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  • Slí Gaeltacht Mhuscraí

11 people were brought by minibus from Gougane to Ballingeary in order to walk the 12 k section of this part of the O’Sullivan Beara Way or Slí Gaeltacht Mhuscraí. It cost each participant the princely sum of 3 Euro. Everyone agreed that was a very small price to pay for a great day out!  The walk took us through beautiful countryside, forest tracks and low lying hills. We had planned to have lunch on “The banks of our own lovely Lee” however when we got there, the river had all but disappeared. It had been reduced to a little trickle!  So some people decided to eat their lunch in the middle of the dried-up river bed. Afterwards, instead of having to cross the river by bridge we were able to cross it on foot. When we arrived in Gougane we met up with the walkers who had done the full Gougane circuit and treated ourselves to beautiful coffee and cakes in the local hotel.

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