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.