Friday, December 2, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Well, my walk today was not strictly on the Great Western Greenway but it never strayed more than a couple of kilometres from it. It was, in fact, a wonderful stretch of the legs around Burrishoole from the Community centre as far as the Lough Furnace Fishery and reasearch centre and back. Thankfully, the sun shone throughout the walk out of a deep bue sky, and there wasn't a breath of wind.
The walk is rewarding out of all proportion to the effort involved and leads up hills and down dales with wonderful vistas of Mayo hills including Nephin and Croagh Patrick, and a wonderful series of small lakes where an occasional wild 'brownie' surfaced and solitary rowan tree sentinels stood.
Then, it continues on past stands of rushes and woodland and roaring salmon rivers thundering their falls in abandon.
The whole is a feast for the eyes; mossy old walls, lichen-spattered walls, rich tapestries of hillside and woodland in maroons and purples and yellows.
Just do it, is all that I can say. I cannot recommend it highly enough, it's an absolute gem of a walk on a par with English Lake District scenery.
If you include a quick visit to the remains of Burrishoole Abbey you will double the pleasure. Little else compares.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Today, my footsteps took me close to Achill on the Greenway, near Polranny and West Tonragee.
A lively wind from the south-east was having a good tug at me but I was well insuated in my anorak and thinsulate hat and boots. Cloud was boiling over the summit of Polranny hill but away from that the sun was shining and ditch-water was glinting in the turf-bogs as I struck out east on the long track that is the Great Western Greenway.
It was quiet, only myself about save for an elderly man stacking turf and a fellow walker I know that was going in the opposite direction. We made brief mention of the white and red fishing smack (or was it a trawler)that had made its way against the wind through Blacksod bay and come to rest. We imagined he must be phoning the council to open the swing bridge at Achill Sound to allow him onward passage.
The hills over Blacksod bay around Ballycroy were evident and looked for all the world like surfacing whales, their great backs dark and mysterious.
I stopped a while rgarding the steep flanks of Polranny hill and the beautiful colours in the landscape, the russet rannoch and golden moor grass and the mist spilling down slopes where pale cottages huddled beneath.
Then it was back to the car and a quick warm-up with the heater on before lunch back at the cottage. A short excursion of a couple of miles at most but i love the way the Greenway allows us to dip in and out like this suiting the walk to our mood and the day and our time allowance.
Happy Rambling until the next time,
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Walking the Greenway close to Mulranny this week, I happened across this horse shoe fastened to a post. I presume a council worker found it during construction of the Greenway and fastened it there as a gesture to the past.
The romantic poet in me believes it is more likely to be a donkey shoe. My Grandmother's farm was very close by, and I am by this stage convinced it must have belonged to a donkey I knew when I was holidaying there and only knee-high to a grasshopper.
Have a great week,
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Today, walking on the Greenway was very rewarding, with plenty of winter sunshine (though there was a constant cool breeze making it wise to take a hat and put on a warm jacket). The colours in the land are beautiful and the light is low and perfect for modelling. Here is a photo I took around lunch-time looking over Ballacragher bay to the Nephin hills.
Have a good week,
Friday, October 14, 2011
The views just now, as autumn intensifies the colours and the light is lower and more raking, are wonderful on the Great Western Greenway (GWR) between East Tonragee and Mulranny village. On one of my walks this week the Nephins range of hills beyond Blacksod Bay were beautiful in beiges and golds.
After recent heavy rain, the Owenduff river near Ballycroy (well-know for its salmon fishing) was tumbling down the hills in a white rush - magnificent!
Around the estuary, near the Owenduff river in East Tonragee, the seaweed was a lovely deep saffron contrasting with the dark mud, rocks and silvery-blue water colours.
The curving, arched, blue-painted steel and wood bridge is always a delight to cross, and I am unable to resist looking for rising small trout each time I do. In the evenings, if the time is right for the rise (ie the trout are hungry and flies plentiful), the surface shows sporadic rings that betray their feeding.
To my right the elegant hills of the Corraun massif became a lovely distraction with their steep sides of scree and moorland rising in stately majesty above the dark evergreen pine forestry.
Further on, Ballacragher bay, backed by the eastern end of the Nephins - the rugged little hills of Claggan and Bing coloured with deep russet rannoch(ferns)- was a delight.
I turned back shortly afterwards, retracing my steps with a smile on my face and a glow in my cheeks after a short but rewarding walk of about 5kms in just over one hour.
The GWR is perfect to dip in and out of like this, completing small stretches at a time. Most rewarding and highly recommended.