Thursday 21st February 2019
Day 23 Aughrim to Ahascragh
Terrain road, farmland
Stamps Concannons daybreak shop A hascragh
beware of the bulls
We slept outside the Heritage Centre in Aughrim for the last two nights, as suggested by Trisha in Burke's shop, it was quiet and secure. Trisha was very keen to track down the Stamp for our Passport when she checked the website and saw that Burke's Shop is listed as having the Stamp. A phone call to Valerie's Bar and it was discovered that a customer and village resident had the Stamp at his home, and another phone call later Valarie had it in her possession, so in a very Irish fashion we got Stamped !
As we began our walk at 8am. it was a warm and dry morning. The road out from the Village was quiet as we crossed the Bridge over the main road. The route took us alongside a forest for a bit and after about 4.5km's we entered a farm which had an old green road running through it.
The first field had 5 Donkeys which were not fenced off from the walk, they observed us but didn't seem very interested in us. Then we went through a mucky gap into the next field where 1 Donkey and two Horses were resting behind the hedge, they stood up when they saw us but we kept going as we could see that the distance from here to the next field was short. As we entered the next field a pack of about 15/20 horses spotted us from a distance and as they made their way towards us picking up speed as they moved we decided that the fields behind were a better choice than going forward. They possibly thought that we were here to feed them, but as there was no fence between them and us it was not an option that we even gave thought to.
It was so frustrating having to walk back on a route and adding 40 mins to a days walk, it's energy better kept for the end of a day's walking ! As we were no longer on the Way Marked Route we navigated our own route to the Bog marked on our map, where we did meet up with the Way Markings, so this farmland could also have been avoided by re-routing.
The Bog had been completely destroyed by fire, wiping out the natural habitat for the wild life of this area, shameful.
From here we again left the Way Markings as we had parked in the Village of Ahascragh which is not on the route, but the closest place for safe parking. Before we reached the road there was a stile and an outdated sign indicating the start point of the Route, It's time to take outdated signs away, as they can lead to confusion. There was also a Beware of the Bull sign on the Gate, but no such warning was issued at the other end, Thankfully there was no Bull, just a tethered Horse. It was a 5km. seemingly endless road stretch into Ahascragh .
We recieved our Passport Stamp in Concannon's Day Break Petrol Station without any difficulty.