Wednesday 20th February 2019
Day 22 Clonfert to Aughrim
Distance 28 k
Terrain Road nice forestry and old canal walk busy main road
Stamp Valeries bar Aughrim.
We set out from the Cathedral by road for 1.5km before turning into a cul de sac. We walked to the end having missed the entrance into farmland as it had been knocked down by the recent hedge-cutting machine. A local woman showed us the way. We walked through a couple of fields which were dry underfoot, then crossed a stile into some forestry. Such a beautiful start to the day. To our delight this was just the beginning, from here we walked on into the most delightful forest which was dry and sprung underfoot, a perfect place to have our first picnic, homemade Galway Fish Pie of course m.m.m.m.m. Annaghcorrib Bog ran alongside the forest, we crossed a couple of wooden bridges before leaving the forest, and before we knew it we had covered about 9km. 1/3 of our expected day's walking. we then crossed the Cloonascragh River and had a firm towpath beneath our feet as we walked alongside The Old Grand Canal for 3km.
We entered The Ballinasloe Gun Club and Clay Pigoen Shoot Grounds, This section should either be re-routed or cleaned up, visitors to our country would leave here with a very bad impression of Co. Galway. This area is destroyed. It is being used as a Rubbish Dump, everything is here, disgusting and shameful, at least 6km's of destruction.
We walked through the Ballinasloe Golf Club and out onto a very busy main road for 2km before turning onto a side road. Most of the walk from here was on Esker Riada's, high Ridge Roads, deposits of sand and gravel from the last Ice Age.The final 4.5km followed the Battle of Aughrim Trail of 1691, but it also passed the Battle Site of 1603 when O'Sullivan's party although greatly out numbered overpowered the English Queen's Troops. A lot of his men were badly wounded here and they had to divert on a 20mile march throughout the night. We were relieved to arrive in Aughrim Village after our 7 hour pleasure trek of 28km's.