Tuesdays of Texture : Week 44

Waterford

County Waterford

There is a lot of different texture in this shot of County Waterford and the Knockmealdown Mountains, (even the name is full of texture!)    The heather in the foreground is dying back, with not many purple flowers visible now, and this contrasts with the forest down below, and the farms and hills in the distance.

Here is another photo from our Sunday walk, our group of walkers in single file on the narrow track through the heather, on the East Munster Way

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Co Waterford

East Munster Way

Having a Social Hike with absolutely Blissful Views

For the first time in almost six months, I joined my friends in the Hillwalking Club yesterday for a hike in Sheep’s Head, near Bantry Bay in West Cork.

In the beginning..

In the beginning.

Sheep’s Head is a narrow peninsula in West Cork, with Bantry Bay on one side, and Dunmanus Bay on the other, and there are over 150km of walks making up the Sheep’s Head Way, and the scenery on all sides is amazing.

Yesterday’s walk was the Cahergal Loop, a distance of about 13 km, and as the ascent was only about 350m, I thought it would be a good place to start, after hibernating for the past few months, and seeing that the weather was being kind!    A lot of people had the same idea, and there were about 50 of us on the walk, it was good to meet up beforehand for a chat over coffee in the scenic village of Durrus , and then we drove a few miles to Kilcrohane to start the walk.   Boots on, walking sticks set, a few extra layers of clothing to start with, and we were off!

We turned off the road, and the first 100 metres of the climb was quite steep, and that is always quite a shock when the uphill starts before we even have time to get used to the walk, and to stretch the creaking legs!

Half way up the first hill and it’s time to start taking off that extra layer (and it’s an excuse to stop and get my breath back!).   There was a lot of climbing up rocks, then climbing down more rocks, and that is where the walking poles really come into their own, especially as the ground is still quite boggy from the winter rains.

Trudging along, avoiding the wet patches

Trudging along, avoiding the wet patches

About two hours into the walk, we stopped for lunch and a welcome sit down, unfortunately there are no cafes or ‘refugios’ in the hills in Ireland like there are in places like Italy, so everyone brings sandwiches or snacks in their rucksacks, and sometimes a welcome flask of tea or coffee.

We stopped at an old copper mine where there are still the ruins of the labourers cottages, and a few disused mine shafts.  Interestingly, this settlement by the mine was called Crimea, probably after some locals that may have fought in the Crimea War.

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Soon after leaving Crimea, we came to a narrow trail over some cliffs, with a rope handrail that we had to hold on to, and if anyone was scared of heights, it was best not to look down!

 

Don't look down

Don’t look down

The Rope Handrail

The Rope Handrail

The walk was tough, took about four hours, but we had sunshine and blue skies all the way, and the views were out of this world.  Despite a few aches and pains, we all felt great at the end of the day when we could take off the muddy boots, get cleaned up and visit one of the local  pubs for a welcome drink and the  ‘roast of the day’.

Will I do another walk next weekend – most definitely!

Linked to Jo’s Monday Walk

 

Climbing Cardiac Hill

 

Jaunting cars in Muckross Park,Killarney

Jaunting cars in Muckross Park,Killarney

Killarney is a beautiful place, it has the Lakes of KillarneyMuckross House and Gardens,  and Killarney National Park, which consists of about 4 300 acres, with many wild deer roaming the hillsides.   There is also Torc Waterfall and Torc mountain, and many other attractions in the area.

One of these ‘attractions’ is Cardiac Hill, a very steep climb made of uneven stone steps, in all we counted over 3000 steps to get to the top….there is a rope barrier to hold on to, if that is any consolation, and you will probably be completing this course in silence…the exertion of climbing and breathing will not leave much room for anything else.

Are we there yet....are we....

Are we there yet….are we….

Still, we persevered and the views at the top were worth the climb, apart from the aching legs next day, that is!

Lakes of Killarney, as seen from above.

Lakes of Killarney, as seen from above.

This climb doesn’t bring you to the top of Torc Mountain, in fact I think the trek up to the top of Torc is easier than this one, as it is more spread out with gentler climbs.But that’s for another day!!

Innisfallen Island, Lakes of Killarney

Innisfallen Island, Lakes of Killarney and Killarney town in the background

Fun Foto Challenge: Leaves or Trees

Cee’s challenge this week is to do with leaves or trees, or both, and these photos were taken on our Tuesday evening hike with the Hillwalking Club in Lisgoold Woods, near Midleton in County Cork.   The new leaves are out now, and are a fresh light shade of green, which brightens up the evening after the dull winter light.   I hope you like these photos.

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