Spring Steps in Ballinaboola

The only motivation we needed was “Anois teacht an Earraigh”, for our 10km walk in Ballinaboola, near Ballyhea, led by Helen Waide. Helen exudes an uaisleacht, such that I suspect we would follow her to the Gates of Hell and a step beyond, if she made to go on.

Coming the week after Cheltenham the early indications were that the going would be soft to yielding. We need not have worried. The pathways proved firm, and wide enough to walk in twos and threes.

As we gradually climbed the 200m to the top, the faraway fleshpots of Charleville/Rath Luirc lay clear to view in a golden vale.

20190320_114235The pace was expertly set by our leader, while Marie Power as sweeper ensured that nobody peeled off the back.

As picnic thoughts began to gnaw our innards – Helen promised a large log that would serve as our table, just around the next bend. The only “picnic log” that greeted us, five bends later, had the circumference of a half-pint beer bottle. Mar a dúirt Pat C. –          “Lag iarracht”.

A strength of our association is that due to a commonality of training and working life, we can absorb new members almost instantly, in shared past experience. I was in Pats with John K. and Kath. Kath taught with Ann whose Dad was a pal of mine, etc.

Admittedly nobody asked, nor perhaps is interested, but the number of men was a modest if magnificent seven of 25.

With the measuring statistic of a 4% chance of rain, nobody was surprised that the minute we stopped for grub, the first drops located us. Post picnic it was all downhill, not re our enjoyment, just the gravity induced race to the bottom. The dry main road back to  Corbett Court mocked the rain sodden locks of the hat-less.

The soup was warm, tasty and comforting, full marks indeed. The huge and colourful dessert plates seemed to me the size of some of our off-shore islands. A quick calculation confirmed that 18.75 plates would tile an average bathroom. Given the loud yellows and reds, and early morning shower might indicate the wearing of sunglasses.

20190320_144849As we finished our grub, the lively chat proved the perfect leaven.

The insistent piped country music at Corbett Court distracted this scribe. Thoughts of line-dancing in Wilton a whole 48 hours away with the incomparable Helen had my weary walking feet twitching to dance.

Travelling out and back with Clare, Mary and Ann, the minute planning and pains taken to offer our members a fun and safe outing struck me forcibly, as the plans for Cape Clear etc were discussed. The vitality of our association is dependant on those who go the extra mile that others may partake in and enjoy our wide range of events.                        Go mba fada iad faoi bhláth.

le Seán Ó Callanáin.

Ringaskiddy rings a Bell

On Thursday 14th March, the Amblers assembled at the National Maritime College, for a most interesting walk led by Angela Foley. Although we were greeted by a downpour, we adopted the motto that there is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothing!

Angela led us up to Loughbeg, where we saluted the manufacturers of replacement hips at De Puy, hoping we would never need their services, but comforted by the knowledge that spare parts are locally available!

Ambling along, we took a secret delight in passing Ringaskiddy N.S. leaving the torch in the capable hands of the staff within. A little further along the road we came to Tobar Lic. A restful pause can be taken here, while remembering some locals who loved to pass this way.

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Angela told us the story of Castle Warren, which we passed a short while later.

20190314_112244Our walk took us back to Ringaskiddy village where we stopped to visit the beautiful oratory.  This building which dates from 1923 has been beautifully renovated. The altar itself has been carved from a 250 year old section of sweet chestnut. Interestingly, the bell over the oratory door was salvaged from RMS Celtic in 1933.

 

Our walk took us back to our starting point, from  where we proceeded to Rocky Island, better known today as The Island Crematorium. Angela had done her research and was able to tell us the history of the vaulted building on the island, which served as a gunpowder store in the years before Irish independence.

We enjoyed viewing Cork Harbour from aspects which we hadn’t previously encountered.

After a bracing walk back to Ringaskiddy, we were welcomed at the N.M.C.I, where we enjoyed a tasty lunch.

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March 2019

The following events are planned for March:

1st. Friday. Social coffee morning. Clayton Silver Springs Hotel. 11 a.m.

(Reminder! Over 50s Expo at City Hall. 9th & 10th March)

12th. Tuesday. Camera Group outing. St. Finbarr’s Cathedral and Elizabeth fort.

14th. Thursday. Amble. Ringaskiddy. 10.30 a.m. National Maritime College. Followed by lunch.

14th. Thursday. Cork Opera House. “Leeside Story”, 8 p.m. and dinner at Luigi Malone’s from 6 p.m.

20th. Wednesday. Hillwalk. Ballyhoura. Details will be sent by email, to those on the hillwalking mailing list.

28th. Thursday. Camera Group meeting. SMA. 2 p.m.

Our Choir continues to rehearse on Monday afternoons.

Line dancing continues on Friday mornings.

 

February walks

Spring is in the air, and our walking groups have embraced the outdoors with relish! After the cancellation of the Mount Hilary hike (due to snow), our walkers were eager to get out, come rain or shine.

The amble in Doneraile Park on 14th February was well attended, and it was great to catch up as we walked along, as well as over the welcome lunch. Thanks to Nora Farrissey for leading this amble.

On Tuesday 19th, a group of 20 hillwalkers met at Cuskinny, on Great Island, for a coastal walk, along the shore and through Marlóg Wood. Mary O’Brien was our local guide and with the help of Deirdre Ryan, shared lots of interesting facts about the history and topography of the area. Once again, the company was great and we enjoyed the chat as we trekked along, hardly noticing the rain!

Ath-bhliain faoi mhaise!

We wish all our members and their families the very best of happiness and health in 2019. Here is the list of events planned for January.

4th. Friday. Coffee morning at Clayton Silversprings Hotel. 11 a.m.

17th. Thursday. Annual planning meeting for walkers and hillwalkers. SMA centre, Wilton. 2 p.m. All those interested in walks for 2019 are invited to attend.

31st. Thursday. Photography group meeting. SMA centre. 2 p.m.

Choir, art and dance groups will resume this month. Notification will be given to the members of each group.

Knockmealdowns Hillwalk

On Wednesday 17th October, the RTAI Hill walkers had an invigorating hike in the Knockmealdown mountains, ably led by Veronica Curran.

As is now established custom, we assembled in Barrons Bakery, Cappoquin for tea and scones prior to the hike. Then we drove to our starting point at Bay Lough. From our scenic parking spot we could anticipate the wonderful views that awaited us as we climbed higher.

After a steep and challenging ascent, we levelled off to a gentler climb, with plenty of opportunities to stop to admire the panorama below us. We were straddling three counties: Waterford, Tipperary and Cork. For quite a distance we followed a fence which divides County Cork from County Waterford. Veronica pointed out landmarks along the way, showing that she knows the hills like the back of her hand.

We stopped at the summit (630m), for our “sos beag”, and after refuelling we were glad to move down from the windy height!

As usual, there was lots of chat along the way, as well as opportunities to walk in silence, appreciating the privilege of being far removed from the busy world below us, just enjoying being one with Mother Nature.

One could surely say that this was a loop walk, as we finished where we started – back at Barrons Bakery! We thoroughly enjoyed the delicious soup and sandwiches that were laid on for us. Thanks to RTAI for subsidising the cost of lunch!

Thanks to James Doolan for the photos.