Memories of our 2-day walking trip to Glengarriff and Bere Island.
The long awaited and much anticipated two day walking trip to the Beara took place on 20th and 21st June. We are fortunate to have generous and talented members in RTAI Cork, who will plan behind the scenes, take the initiatives, take the photos and record their memories to share with us all. Here you are presented with a selection of stunning photos by Joe Carroll and James Doolan. The entertaining stories were kindly contributed by Derry Keogh and Seán Ó Callanáin.
Blessed with ideal hiking weather, the motley crew under the guidance of Angela Foley, gathered at Jim’s Café, Glengarriff, for the obligatory pickmeup before heading off for the first of two hour and a half gentle walks in the woods outside the town. The views from Lady Bantry’s Lookout were magnificent but best for me was the easy camaraderie along the way as we slipped in and out of each other’s company and conversations, regaling one another with stories short and tall of schooldays, colleagues, history, legends or anything that came to mind, crowning it all with a few songs that would have charmed Lady Bantry herself.
A few of us squeezed in a visit to Garnish Island later in the afternoon and it did not disappoint. Apart from the formal gardens, the Martello Tower on the island is now accessible and worth the effort of climbing up to it. Bryce House has been magnificently and faithfully restored and has a wonderful free guided tour. The group was joined by a few colleagues for the meal in Beara Lodge later that evening which concluded with an all too brief sing-song. Why is it that the singers only get going when the bus arrives?
Day 2 involved getting over 40 of us on the 10am ferry to Bere Island. No problem for leaders Kathleen and Leo Lowney who had every logistical detail sorted- even finding room for two of our cars to be ferried over as well. Leo’s deep local knowledge made for many interesting stops as we traversed the more difficult terrain of the island before stopping at Ardnakinna Lighthouse for our picnic. Once again, there are magnificent views across to Sheeps Head and Mizen. No wonder the Irish Times lists Ardnakinna as one of its top picnic spots on the coast. This was my first visit to Bere Island but it certainly won’t be my last. There is much to be seen on the eastern side of the island where the military fort is situated. Well done to the trip organisers and walk leaders for arranging two wonderful days walking. D. K.
Put your trust in Kathleen and Leo Lowney! Recently they led almost 40 of us in a two-day outing. Like the best of generals they were lucky, picking perfect weather many months in advance.
We came under starter’s orders on Day 1 in a welcoming coffee house in Glengarriff. Two short walks followed in the nearby woods, and within sight of Lady Bantry’s view the group burst into spontaneous song. For most, Day 1 was a réamh-rá for our overseas adventure of Day 2.
Our mini cruise to Bere Island in such perfect conditions could have been to a sunny Greek isle. Our west end walk always in sight of the ocean, was uplifting. Our picnic was eaten with the sea to infinity, down below us. Climbing up the steep hill to the ruined Martello tower gave a worthy sense of achievement to our outing.
Walking my first return to Bere Island since 1969 I remembered the U.S moon landing and our climbing of Hungry Hill on the very same day. Conspiracy theorists have their doubts about the moon trip…..
Bere and hungry as ever, Hungry Hill beckoned us back to the mainland…. The end of a perfect adventure.
Thus ends our walking programme until September. Clare Shelley, Mary Cahill and Coiste leave us much in their debt. S. Ó. C.