November Sunshine in West Cork

In the best traditions of adventurous outings, we gathered our 32 RTAI
members at a remove from our targeted walk. On the evidence, I’ve noticed
that the pre-walk coffee/tea takes 15 years and 12.4 years respectively from
the age of the walker; alas the “full Irish” breakfast adds 1.7 years!
Leaving Leap we made our way to Union Hall with fingers crossed as we sped
over the a rather delicate-looking bridge that we hoped would last our
crossing. Parking opposite the local N.S. we mentally checked the roster to
make sure we were not on yard duty, and then we were off. At the risk of her
blushing, our excellent organiser and leader for the walk was Clare Shelly. Her
insider knowledge of the area ahead soon revealed vistas and hidden
treasures. She deserves a special bouquet for selecting (many weeks in
advance) a “peata lae” of glorious sunshine in November.
A special highlight was our visit to Myross graveyard and church ruins on the
edge of the Atlantic. The unusually named Squince Beach served for our “Can
this be November?” picnic. There was nothing forced about the smiles for the
group photos as the good form of all present was obvious. Reflecting the
robust good health of the RTAI members was the presence of members making
their first hike among us. I suspect they may return and may I thank them for
reducing our average age!
With our appetites peaked by sun, fresh air and exertion our pace picked up as
we returned to our cars and headed back to Leap for excellent grub in the Leap
Inn. The buzz of relaxed conversation around the table was a suitably high note
on which to end a splendid outing. We had cheated winter of its sting – if only
for a few hours. While modest, it felt like a victory against the odds.
Sean O Callanain