I was out for just the usual lunchtime loop on my own. It was fine and sunny when I started but my luck with dodging showers ran out during the walk. The smell of gorse is still fantastic up on the mountain and it everywhere at the moment.
It was a fine clear day.
The lady’s smock has just started flowering right on schedule for the start of May. The bluebells won’t be far off by now.
It got a bit of a soaking on the way down but nothing too drastic.
There was a bit of a festival on in Clondra for the weekend celebrating the opening of the new “Blueway” on the Shannon and Camlin rivers. These are supposedly a new invention where you can walk, cycle or paddle a canoe. I though you could do all this anyway on the canals as they were but I’m no expert. Anyway, we got there and couldn’t see any path so I presume this was a canoe only version.
I’d also forgotten my camera so I just took a couple of snaps with my phone. We went on a bit of a wander up the canal for few kilometres as a leg stretch. This is another section I’ve done four or five times so I didn’t feel the need for a heap of pictures.
We had a fine sunny day for the most part but we did get a bit of a shower on the way back. This walk marks the half-way point of my original 1,000 km target for the year and also gives me 100 miles for the month of April.
This was really just an afternoon stroll with my daughter from Brannigan harbour to a bit beyond Archie’s bridge and then back again. This is a section I’ve walked a few times but it is worth visiting again.
It was a fine sunny afternoon and there were a few people out enjoying the weather. We weren’t exactly making a huge pace so I did a bit of messing about with the camera.
The cowslips were in fine form – they are quite rare nowadays but do well in ungrazed areas like the canal bank.
We kept going past Archie’s bridge for a few hundred metres but we weren’t really out to bust ourselves so turned with a bit over 3 km done.
The walk back was fairly uneventful – just a nice bit of a stroll for the afternoon.
With the long evenings in, I am finally able to get evening walks in and for the next few months, I’ll try to get an evening walk in with the children as well as walking in the day.
So, today I made it round both at lunchtime and in the evening – once on the longer loop and once on the shorter one. The children were suitably impressed by the riot of yellow we’re getting from the gorse.
The smell of gorse has also really started spreading which is one of those real aromas of late spring / early summer.
This afternoon’s walk was a rather convoluted loop around Mote Park forest in Co. Roscommon. This is an amenity area with loads of forest walks and is pretty well setup with a distinct lack of mud. The route was to take me to the top of this hill. It is an old demesne.
After leaving the road, the surfaces were for the most part well made hard gravel paths.
There were loads of people about enjoying the spring sunshine and in places there was a love carpet of spring flowers. It appears to be a good spot for bluebells but it’s still a few weeks too early for that.
Further along I spotted this Herb Robert flower making an early appearance.
There were fine views from the top – as is usual for midland hills you can see for 10s of miles in the distance. The power station at Lanesborough was clearly visible in the distant haze.
You could see the huge expanse of bog to the north and to the east which stretches almost the whole way from Strokestown to Killashee in Longford, punctuated by the mightly Lough Ree of course.
The forest track emerged onto a minor road at the top and I decided to follow a trail marker sign which sent me in the direction of the Mausoleum for the family that owned the demesne, the Croftons.
After this interesting visit, I had to backtrack to get back to my starting point, so I didn’t bother with any more photographs as it was just the same thing in reverse although I did take a slightly different route for a bout a kilometre.
As the fine weather continued into the afternoon we decided to go and look for another geocache in Newcastle woods.
We started along the Inny walk from the carpark and quickly passed Newcastle house which is on the opposite side of the river Inny.
We decided to leave the finding of the geocache until the end of the walk and we ended up going quite a long way for Newcastle wood.
We completed a figure 8 walk and then headed back up to look for the geocache but unfortunately failed to find it as we were supposed to be looking under a mossy rock in sea of mossy rocks. We’ll have to try again another time.