Tuesday 26th February 2019
Day 28 Ballaghaderreen to Curlew Mountains
Distance 26 k
Terrain Roads swamp.
Stamps Drurys Monasteraden
Leaving Ballaghaderreen we headed up the Old Beautiful Bog Roads as far as Boleysillagh. From here the views are amazing, looking back South East towards Ballaghaderreen, across to Bocca Hill to the South West, The Golden Bog behind to the North West, and North East to Largan Wind Farm. The morning was beautiful and we sat awhile in the sunshine admiring the cloud-shaded golden Sedge Grass'.
As we headed downhill towards the Crossroads we are now 3km from home, so near and possibly yet 6days away, there will be a welcome on the mat with us to anyone Walking from Cork and is a walk Passport holder. A place of shelter and a hot meal, or cooking facilities, and shor' we may even have a unique Stamp of our own !
It's uphill from here passed the Windfarm. The Way Marking will in the future take the route through the windfarm as it is in place but has a covering on it at this time. It's downhill from here to the main road as we know this area so well. We turned left along the main road for 1.5km before turning off for Monasteraden. This is a quiet road where Gerry's Honesty Box for his Hen and Duck Eggs is closely guarded at a safe distance, and we encounter visable Way Markings once again. It's mostly downhill in the sunshine to the Village. There is no problem getting a Stamp for the Passport in Drury's Bar here in this little quaint Village. We choose not to take the loop down to the Old Railway Station as it leads back exactly to this point, and we have been on it several times before.
Our friends live there and would love a Stamp to encourage walkers to take this 2km Loop. We took the High Road which continues to follow the Way Markings up the hill on a quiet country road leading to Moygara Castle. It's not known if O'Sullivan Beara came this route but he did cross the Curlew Mts. which lie ahead. At the end of the road we crossed The Boyle to Tubbercurry rd. which took us past Mullaghroe School just as the children were out at play. From here we turned north which led us to an old dismantled Railway line, once it connected to the Sligo to Dublin line at Kilfree with the feeder Steam Train from Ballaghaderreen. Once under the Railway Bridge and heading uphill we met a local farmer who suggested that we take the hard surfaced track instead of the recently installed Stiles into his very wet farmland. He told us that this route had just one swampy field before we would once again rejoin the Way Marked route.
And yes he was right ! We went on Safari ! One field yes ! but we were almost swallowed up in the sedge grass, swamp, thorns and heather...... We emerged to safety after 20 mins of Jungle. Once back on track we were able to laugh about it, so what were his fields like by comparison ? Way Markings are very confusing here as the farmer told us that the original planned route had been changed, but that the signs had not been removed.
We turned uphill at the end of a forest, and waited at a friend's house for our lift back to our car, she was hand feeding a friendly wild Fox, what a sight to see.
Monday 25th February 2019
Day 27 Ballinlough to Ballaghaderreen
Stamp not available in durkins or Spells or Fiddlers Ballaghaderreen
We left Ballinlough in the Sunshine this morning with out coats safely tucked into our backpacks. We stopped off at the Old Railway Station just outside the town, what a great location for a museum as the buildings are still in a great state of repair.
The sun glistened on Lough O' Flynn as we passed we admired the walking path alongside and commented on how little it would cost to have pathways just like it throughout the country.
It's road all the way to Loughlinn as there are no maps available as of now for this section The Lung / Lough Gara Way. The road was quiet and in the morning sun we soon put the road behind us. A hot cuppa was our fancy on our arrival into Loughlinn, we inquired in the Shop and were ushered into the adjoining Bar where the kettle was put on without delay. The publican and his early morning customers were very interested in our journey and in us, probably because we live close to here as the crow flies. One compared us to Bear Grylls, someone from the T.V. We left promising to return and play a tune here sometime in the future.
Outside on the street there is a Garden of remembrance to the Leaders who were put to death during the 1916 Rising, a Tree is planted for each one.
The excitement is building as we are getting closer to Ballaghaderreen, it is the town closest to where we live and we know this area so well. At Moyne crossroads, a man who recognised us came out from a house to speak with us, he lives about 5 km from us, He was in disbelief that we walked from Dursey Island cable car. He called to the owner of the house to come and meet us, we had a great conversation about Bees as he is a Bee Keeper and the one who's Bees produce the Honey that we eat. It feels strange to be so close to home talking of things local and recognising faces and places.
As we approached Ballaghaderreen, Bocca Hilla framed the town like a Great Shawl of protection. We are now within a stones throw of home, just the other side of the Hill and yet we are a week away. We will be heading North East from here across the mountains. We stopped off at Durkins restaurant for lunch and the Passport Stamp where we had been informed it would be awaiting us. The staff on duty had no knowledge of it, on up the Street to Spells Bar where the staff here couldn't find it having searched in vain.
We were sad to see the closed sign on Gallagher's shop !
No Stamp in our home town although we know it exists !
The roads were long and straight today, enjoyable in the sunshine. On a wet day this route would be endless and a bit boring. There is no Way Marking at all on this section but lots of possible places, but we are assured that.... It's on the Way.... the Beara Breifne Way was launched in 2002...... It's a bit too Irish !!!!!!!