Saturday, November 19, 2011

Burrishoole Loop Walk

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.

Happy Rambling,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Lively Wind!

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

Lucky Donkey Shoe!

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,