Kilronan Loop Again

This walk is becoming a bit of a habit – this is my third time this year doing the entire walk and I’ve done part of it a fourth time. Anyway, it’s a nice walk and quite close to home so it doesn’t require a lot of planning.┬áIt is basically a matter of parking up in Keadue and setting off at a reasonable hour of the morning.

DSCN3136

After a couple of kilometres of a road-walk towards Arigna, you quickly start to ascend for fabulous views over the countryside.

DSCN3137

There is a good steep climb up an old foot-path until you come to a sweat house right by the pass. I had a look in here on a previous walk but I didn’t bother stopping here.

DSCN3141

After this, you’re properly up on the mountain in peace an quiet. The heather up here is even more spectacular than that on my home walk. The weather was quite annoying with regular light showers that just got heavy enough to make you put your rain jacket on before stopping.

DSCN3140

There is the usual view of Sliabh Aniarann covered in clouds. The only time I’ve managed to see the mountain from here was an inverse view where everything else was covered in clouds and the peak was poking out.

DSCN3143

 

I trundled on towards the wind-farm that runs along the ridge. It was becalmed today though so nothing was moving.

DSCN3146

I wasn’t exactly making great time but then I wasn’t in much of a hurry. I stopped for a snack at the abandoned mineworks before rejoining the road for a bit. The way-marking here is a bit weak but I know the way so it isn’t so much of a problem. In particular, you need to very careful about leaving the track towards the saint’s grave. There is an abandoned engine which you need to pass on the track above it. From here, a single waymarker is just visible in the distance. If you pass this engine with it on your right, you’re going the wrong way.

DSCN3149

From here it’s another couple of kilometres before you join the Miners’ Way track that leads you down towards Ballyfarnon.

DSCN3150

This track winds its way down the mountain and gradually turns into a proper road before crossing a stream and heading back towards some form of civilisation. I stopped again for coffee and a snack for a few minutes and resolved to have a lunch break at Ballyfarnon.

DSCN3153

From here the route is mostly a lowland road walk but it’s mostly along very minor roads and a couple of kilometres are along a green road. I arrived into Ballyfarnon at about 1:30 and had a 20 minute break for soup, a sandwich and some crisps.

DSCN3154

I had a nice final few kilometres through the Kilronan castle grounds. I spotted this interesting little fungus on the forest track.

DSCN3157

After passing through the old castle gate, I made my way alongside the road into Keadue. I stopped at the graveyard there to try to find O’Carolan’s grave but didn’t have any luck. I made into Keadue around 3:30 a bit over six hours after I left.

790 km

 

 

Autumn Walking

So the autumn continues on and I’ve got a few more walks in. We’re still waiting for proper autumn storms but the weather still seems to be holding. Although it wasn’t a great summer the outstanding feature of the forest this autumn is fabulous colourful heather.

DSCN3120

DSCN3115

One thing that has been sadly lacking this summer is the foxgloves. While we do have the occasional sad specimen most of them didn’t flower at all this year.

DSCN3130

Anyway, we are well into mushroom season by now and the variety is fantastic as normal.

DSCN3135

765 km

Sunday Walking

DSCN3106

We all went for a family walk up on the shorter of the two loops and had a nice day of it. It was quite an interesting walk. The heather is quite spectacular this year and there is loads of it in flower at the moment.

DSCN3109

 

After the wet August, it has been a few days since there was any rain and longer since there was a significant downpour. It is quite amazing at this time of year how quickly the place dries out and there is very little water about.

DSCN3113

 

As we got towards the end of our walk we came across an interesting sight – a wasp’s nest on the ground. Further along there was what looked like some bits of a wild bee hive. Perhaps we have a badger about.

DSCN3114

 

We did the shorter of the two loops today.

743 km

Mushroom season again

I’ve not been doing a huge amount of walking over the last couple of weeks – just the usual lunchtime and weekend efforts but the mushrooms are back out in force again. These few pictures cover four walks over the last couple of weeks.

DSCN3098

The weather has been reasonably dry over the last couple of weeks so the going is relatively easy at the moment.

DSCN3100

It won’t be long until we’re into winter weather at this point, the mushrooms normally mean it’s time to dig out the fleece again.

DSCN3103

The fly agarics are making their presence felt.

739 km