The Lee Valley Golf and Country Club was the venue for our end of summer barbecue on Saturday, September 26th. From 8 p.m. on, RTAI Cork members gathered and enjoyed a social evening together in a relaxed and very pleasant atmosphere. It was great to catch up with friends and to chat, dance and partake of the delicious food on offer.
Thanks to Lisa and staff at the Lee Valley for ensuring that this event was such an enjoyable one and to all who attended and contributed to the conviviality of the occasion.
On Wednesday and Thursday, 14th & 15th September, the Ramblers had an overnight outing to Sherkin Island and the Sheep’s Head Peninsula.
The hike on Sherkin was part of the Taste of West Cork festival and we joined a larger group of hikers on the day. We had a calm crossing from Baltimore, followed by tea and scones at The Islander’s Rest, for an early taste of West Cork! Suitably fortified, we set out under the watchful eyes of Gary Minihane and Don Davis, our guides for the day.
It was a varied hike, over paths, road, rocks, grass and beach. We stopped at various points for photos, and to get orientation from our guides. It was interesting to see Baltimore and the Beacon from a new angle! Also, Oileán Chléire was clearly visible from our vantage point above the beach.
Líne fada díreach!
The big group
We didn’t escape the rain, but we were well insulated! The great feed of mussels (and more) at the Islander’s Rest on our return was just what we needed to warm us up and send us merrily on our return to Baltimore.
Later that evening, a few group members took a boat trip up theIlen River, and reported very enthusiastically to the rest of the group, over dinner.
Some people stayed overnight in Baltimore, some stayed in Bantry, and others joined the group the following morning for the Sheep’s Head hikes.
Although the morning was misty, the sky cleared over Sheep’s Head and another great day was had by all.
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!