Sunday 10th February 2019

Day 12 Ballyorgan to Churchtown

Distance 33k

Track, moderate

Terrain, mountain track and road

Stamp, location Nuala Mee's pub Ballyorgan.

black rocks

We drove from Churchtown to Ballyorgan we set out at 8am just as it was getting light. Today's walk began with a light fall of snow as we entered Ballyorgan forest. We walked on past the wooden holiday cabin s and on through the quiet woodland.forest view

The bird's are only just awakening. From here out on to the road for a bit before turning into the woodland at Glenoisin . We could see Oliver s castle above Ballyorgan. The track led us into a  car-park being used today by mountain bikers who were just gathering at the time. The way-marking was a bit confusing here,it was guesswork. On up into the Ballyhoura forest, we joined up several bike trails and the Ballyhoura trim trail where we met a few Sunday morning keep fit enthusiasts. As we rose higher up the mountain we rounded the black rock to a point marked on our map as Castle Philip.

The snow and hailstones were felt sharply on our cheeks at 477meters in the wind. Either we overlooked the way-marking close to here or it was missing and a couple of km later down hill it seemed we we're heading down on the wrong side of the valley. We spoke with a local farmer who couldn't figure out from the map where we were located, but pointed us in the general direction. From here the fun began. We negotiated our way through forest tracks, through dozens of wind turbines, then down a firebreak in a Forest so steep a zipwire would have been useful. The river at the bottom was manageable and then of course it was just as steep going up the other side. All of which took about three hours. We continued up through more forestry and keeping a careful eye on the suns position we eventually got back on track.

track viewFrom here the going was easier even though there was a bit of zig zagging possible due to the lack of permission to cross farmland adding several kilometers to the route. Further along the route, now a disused green road,but not so green as farm machinery has completed torn up thot section, blocked off the exit entirety and the signs have been removed as we joined the tarred road. We hear traffic on the main road but it's guesswork which of the two roads to take. We joined the main road and walked along it for 1 kilometer, before turning onto a side road and walked the final 4 kilometers into Churchtown. The whole experience took 9 hours.