On Thursday 8th September we had an “Amblers adventure” on the Ballycotton Cliff Walk. 31 walkers took part in fine fresh weather along the coastal path and completed the 10k looped route ( by agreement !) in under 3 hours with some stops on the way. We made it back just before the rain for wonderful seafood at the Schooner Bar where we were well looked after by owners Mike and Brid O’Shea and lovely staff Cliodhna and Marion.
On Tuesday 26th July a group of Amblers and Ramblers assembled at Liss Ard Country House near Skibbereen, for a visit to the Sky Garden. Our guide Ann Collins Mac Seoin was very knowledgeable and shared with us, the story of the house as well as the Sky Garden. The Sky Garden is the work of artist James Turrell. A living breathing work of art, which is all about the experience of entering the hollow and lying down to observe the sky, in peace and tranquility. Our members were fascinated, and had many questions for Ann. Just as well, because Ann kept us on our toes with spot-quizzes along the way!
After this, we all trooped in to the beautiful house where tea, coffee and scones were waiting for us in the long dining room. More rapid-fire questions from Ann, and the lucky ones won spot prizes!
From Liss Ard, we made our way by car to Lough Hyne. Ann led us up through the mist, to view the lough from above. We had to imagine what some of the landscape in the distance would look like, through the mist. However, the mist didn’t dampen our spirits. There was even an impromptu woodland concert!!
On we hiked, through the woods, climbing over a few obstacles(!) with a little sliding(!), until we were back on the road to the lakeside.
On our route back to the lake we encountered a couple of shrines, or grottoes. We could understand why such calm beautiful places had been chosen by those who set them up.
We were glad to retire to The Church Restaurant in Skibbereen for a hearty lunch!
The Amblers were blessed with bright sunshine for their trip to Timoleague (Tigh Molaga) on Thursday 14th July.
Meeting below the Abbey, we were greeted by our knowledgeable guide, local RTAI member Dónal Whooley. Dónal is a veritable fount of knowledge about the area and its history. He told us the heritage of the Barry and McCarthy families in the area – some lively stories!
Our walk took us out of Timoleague in the direction of Ummera (well known for its smoked foods). On our way we passed Argideen Lawn Tennis Club, with its immaculately maintained courts for both tennis and croquet.
As we ambled along, Dónal drew our attention to the various points of interest, which could be seen in the distance. The old railway line followed the path of the Argideen river, but is now overgrown in places.
At Inchy Bridge we saw the original railwayman’s cottage. More interesting, at Inchy Bridge, was the specially developed space for disabled anglers. This peaceful spot is wheelchair accessible, and is further enhanced by a beautiful sculpture of a heron.
Following further ambling uphill, we were rewarded with stunning views across the Argideen Valley, and Dónal pointed out certain features of the landscape visible from various viewpoints as we walked along.
Returning to Timoleague, we first of all visited the Catholic church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, to view the Harry Clarke windows and the replica of a chalice. The original chalice dates from the 17th century, and had probably been removed by the monks for safe keeping. It was found some centuries later on Cape Clear Island!
Next we visited the Anglican Church of the Ascension, to view the amazing mosaics and interesting stained glass windows.
Our next port of call was the Abbey of Timoleague. Once more, Dónal gave a detailed guided tour, pointing out unique architectural features and relating the history of the abbey for us. All in all, it was a most interesting and enjoyable walk.
After all that walking and talking we retired for a tasty lunch at Monks Lane!
Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have had to postpone the Claragh Loop Ramble. The Sky Garden visit and Lough Hyne walk will provide an alternative outing this month.
Although the schools are on holidays, the retired teachers never get a break!
Here is the list of events for July:
1st. Friday. Gardening talk and lunch at Griffins Garden Centre 12 noon. Please note time.
14th. Thursday. Amblers’ Walk. Timoleague. See text for details.
26th. Tuesday. Ramblers and Amblers Walk. A visit to the Sky Garden in Liss Ard followed by a guided environmental walk around Lough Hyne. Further details will be sent by text.
On Wednesday 15th June the Ramblers headed for the hills again. This time it was to Musheramore, in Millstreet Country Park. The Ramble was led by local guide Denis O’Mahony. Walking conditions were pleasant, with just the odd shower. The first photo below is of one of three holy wells on the mountain.
At the summit, there is a cairn of stones, topped by a cross. The summit is at 644m altitude.
Maith sibh a chairde! Nár laga Dia sibh!
Thanks to Helen Waide and Pádraig Keating for the photos.
What a wonderful day we had in the Nire Valley!
20 determined ramblers headed off to the Loop most ably led once again by Veronica Curran & gently urged on by Dick Waide. Lots of weather prayers (offered by Veronica’s mother!) ensured the sunshine & we had many stops along the way to appreciate the great views even as far away as the bridge in Waterford. The trek was bookended by early morning tea & scones followed later by delicious sandwiches & home baking in Hanora’s Cottage.
Truly a “la brea brothallach…….”
With thanks to Liam for the group photos here :
The following photos of the beautiful landscape were kindly submitted by Elizabeth and Joe. No doubt the views helped to ease any strain on the muscles – go maire sibh, a spaisteoirí!