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!
On 21st April the Ramblers took to the Seven Heads in iarthar Chorcaí. Here’s a report submitted by Seán Ó Callanáin. Míle buíochas le Seán as an tuairisc, agus le Joe Carroll as na griangrafanna.
Some ramblers’ walks can have a long planning gestation. Naomh Molaga in the seventh century picked our point of assembly at the site of his monastery in Timoleague.
Keeping with the monastic theme, we adjourned at once under the leadership of Dónal Wooley to “Monks Lane”!!! From there “the wheels of the bus went round and round” until we reached Butlerstown, where our walking began.
Hearing of how the local children in 1914, had seen the Lusitania sink from the schoolyard, ensured Dónal had our rapt attention from the off. One by one we ticked off the seven headlands, crossing fields newly clad in spring grass, while a short sos on one of the several deserted beaches pointed our minds to summer.
With 37 walkers, we made a happy throng, ambushing the occasional solitary walker who crossed our path. As Ramblers, we were conflicted between enjoying the views and a self-inflicted “threat” that our lunch venue might be shut if we tarried!
At Courtmacsherry (with the weather holding dry), the wonderful amenity walk along the old railway line to Tigh Molaga was taken at a fair clip. Going monastic yet again, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch at “Monks Lane”, a pub and grub spot worthy of many stars.
Ár mbuíochas d’aon, Clare agus Dónal agus don RTAI.
Tuile ‘snaps’ thíos.
Buíochas le Elizabeth O’ Connell as na griangrafanna seo.
On 14th April 2016 a group of Amblers assembled in Blarney Castle Gardens for a very relaxing and extremely informative guided walk of the grounds. Many people admitted that they hadn’t been inside the gates in decades! As the Teddy Bears’ Picnic song goes: they were sure of a big surprise!
Just inside the gate- a beautiful cherry tree. A sign of delights to come.
This walk was organised by Máiréad Twomey, who arranged for Horticulturist Alan and his assistant Rory to guide us around the gardens. It was very interesting to hear about how certain areas have been reclaimed from the overgrowth and returned to a thriving native woodland. There are about 12 Horticulturists, as well as ground staff and volunteers who work in the grounds.
The park has all the native species of animals and a wide variety of native birds too.
There are 5 km of walking trails throughout the park, and certain areas are dedicated to particular plant types, e.g the Fern Garden, Belgian Beds (azaleas), Himalayan Walk (eastern plants) and the intriguingly named Poison Garden which contains many plants which are of medicinal value.
As well as the horticultural aspect, we visited areas of the garden that were developed in the 19th Century, such as the Rock Close, the Wishing Steps and the Witches’ Kitchen. And then there was the interesting tale of the Seven Sisters and their two fallen brothers, now commemorated by a stone circle.
All agreed that it was a most interesting guided tour, and many people were surprised to discover the beautiful gardens they never knew existed beyond the castle!
The azaleas and rhododendrons will be in bloom at the end of April and into May. It would definitely be worth a visit to see the spectacular colours throughout the garden then.
The Ramblers took to the Black Valley on Wednesday 16th March.
Thanks to Claire Shelley for the report, and to Elizabeth O’Connell and Derry Keogh for the pictorial evidence!
A great day was had by all -29 of us walked through the Black Valley (my first time) & it stayed dry! A bus took us from Kate Kearney’s cottage to Derrycunnihy Church, where we began our descent through undergrowth to lunch at Lord Brandon’s Cottage, arriving just ahead of a large group of French students. Then on through the Black Valley where we met fear an phoist & later hassled a poor teacher of the Black Valley school, which was just about to close for the Easter hols, by telling her we had arrived to inspect the place! After a 15km hike we had well earned refreshments in Kate Kearney’s.