The Knockmealdowns are such a forgiving mountain range! Not only did they accommodate our super-fast long walkers (see previous report), they also allowed this group of 14 to sub-divide into faster and not-so-fast, so everyone had an enjoyable day. We climbed steadily from the Vee to the summit of Sugarloaf, then across the ridge to Knockmealdown itself. For some of our group it was their first County High Point (well done, you know who you are!) We returned along the ridge as far as the “St Declan’s Way” path, and enjoyed a splendid descent through Glenmoylan.
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Just four walkers for our 20 kms-plus walk on this beautiful sunny July day. We took the low route via the Tipperary Heritage Way to start, where we spotted a rare species of butterfly, and shortly afterwards we saw a buzzard flying low along our track. We later saw two buzzards soaring high above us in the clear blue sky. We took a short break at the Liam Lynch monument before starting the climb. We headed up to Crohan West along a now well-worn track, where we stopped for lunch. We had a clear view from there of our journey ahead, firstly to Knockmeal, and then to Knocknagnauv and on to Knockmealdown. It always looks easier from a distance, and so it proved, but with a steady pace we managed to make good progress, even on the steep bits, and got back to the cars in just less than 8 hours. Refreshments in Lismore were very welcome en route home.
Judging by the happy campers on our return, we will have to do it again! On Saturday, five of us stepped aboard the ferry for our weekend Blasket adventure. We claimed the prime camp site and pitched our tents right above the beach. Some of us went for a swim and a spot of seal-watching. As the evening drew in the seals gathered in the water, heads bobbing, then they slowly and cautiously pulled themselves ashore to bed down for the evening. They are a noisy bunch before they settle! We fell asleep lulled by the rhythm of the waves and vaguely heard the Manx shearwaters coming home to roost. We awoke early to the sounds of the seals getting ready to go back to the sea – about 300, we estimated. They slowly curled and stretched and did what looked like seal Pilates before gradually plunging back into the sea, keeping us enthralled right through breakfast. Then we broke camp, squeezed in another little swim and made our way to the slipway ready for our ferry. Magic!
A beautiful evening walk was enjoyed by 12 walkers. Starting at the church, the route went along charming quiet roads, forest-edge tracks and over a footbridge, before returning in a loop to the village and refreshments before going home.
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.
Five of us set off from the Hydro car park in wet & windy conditions. We walked up the concrete road and went to the East (left) of Loch Com Lothair and Lough Eagher on relatively flat ground. At the back of the latter lake, we ascended the Black Mare gully – first gradually then more steeply. We then went to the cross on Carrauntoohil. Weather conditions dictated that we return over Caher. It was only only when we were quite far down on Caher that conditions, and visibility, improved.
A pessimistic weather forecast kept the crowds at home, but six of us turned up to walk. The weather remained dry and almost warm, with a gentle breeze to chase the midges away. We took the green road alongside the brooding Loch Gleann na Fraochán and observed the flora – the carnivorous Pinguicula Vulgaris (Butterwort), Saxifraga Spathularis (St Patrick’s Cabbage) and Digitalis Purpurea (Foxglove). As dusk approached, we gave the traditional midsummer toast to Danú, the great mother goddess, before retracing our steps.
Eight intrepid walkers set off from Clonkeen Church for our traditional mid-summer evening walk. Our route took us to the high point of the Clydagh valley path. We moved steeply up to the East Pap at 694m. Sheltering from the strong breeze at the summit cairn we had a tea break. From there we dropped down to the col at 584m then on up to the Western Pap at 690m. After taking in the views we headed towards Rodger’s Rock before regaining the road.
Photos temporarily unavailable.
15 were on this walk from Ballingeary to Gougane. Weather was damp but that did not take away from the enjoyment. We walked on back roads and woodland paths. As planned we met up with our “Horseshoe” friends for cake and coffee.
Nine members kitted up and started the days walk at 10.15 am. The morning was holding well, with some sunshine, but with grey clouds gathering to the west; rain was expected circa midday and in true CMC tradition we were prepared. We climbed to Foilastookeen and on towards Lough Glas and on again to the small unnamed lake. 12 noon saw a blanket of rain racing towards us. Full battle gear was required and it was heads down and plod from then on. Lunch was a wet affair taken behind the shelter of a large rock. Despite all, spirits remained high and before we knew it we were on the descent and heading for the tea-rooms to meet our friends from the Slí Gaeltacht Mhuscraí.
No photos, owing to inclement weather.