Conditions were slightly cloudy with a light breeze as the 13 walkers set out from Castledonovan. We spent some time exploring the ruins of the castle itself and hearing its story. We then trekked steadily northwards to the high point of the narrow road, and crossed a stile onto a mountain trail. This took us through some pretty woodland, then out onto open moorland and eventually on to Mullach Méise itself (494m), the high point between the Mealagh and Ilen valleys. We had good views of Whiddy Island, Bantry Bay, Dunmanus Bay, Cléire / Clear Island and Roaringwater Bay. The aforementioned clouds meant that we had to imagine the Fastnet Rock / An Charraig Aonair on the horizon, and engage in some precise navigation to find Loch an Ghabhair and Cúm an Óir lakes, our descent route. We completed the loop down through Gleann na Cloiche and then back to Caisleán Uí Dhonnabháin / Castledonovan.
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