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Sunday, 31 October 2010

Cladagh Glen and the Marble Arch

It's Saturday the 30th of October and I'm missing my second walk in succession with the ramblers.I'm in Ireland attending a funeral and don't get the boat back till this evening.
However,all the ceremonies and proceedings are over and I've just a few people to visit.I can take a short lovely walk.

I could have sworn I'd blogged pictures of the Claddagh river before,but since I can't find them I'll put it down to an age thing.

Here's Wikipedias page on the Cladagh River.
And here's the Marble Arch caves own website.
Global Geopark

The car park sits almost halfway between the border town of Blacklion and Florencecourt
There are numerous information boards throughout the walk.
This is part of the 33 kilometre Cuilcagh Way.
(As far as I know,there's two acceptable ways to pronounce Cuilcagh.Phonetically it's either Kwilka or Kwilkay.)

A totem pole erected by the local boy scout troop is one of the first interesting items encountered.

Very soon you're alongside the river on a gentle climb.

Another gate and more information tells you you are in the Marlbank National Nature reserve.

After a couple of days rain,the river has a copious flow.

While looking for the Wikipedia link,I noticed on Google that this particular river Cladagh has been misspelt countless times by adding an additional "d".

One in particular is a professional photographer who will charge you £95 for a 12 by 36 inch print.For that sort of money you'd want the right name wouldn't you ?

The Cascades is particularly popular with children.

As I continued upwards,I noticed this bird hopping along in front of me.He might have a poorly wing since he didn't fly away.(Name that bird Slew ?)

A couple of local lassies had brought Maggie for a walk,and judging by her antics in the water this must be a regular treat.

Now although the path hasn't been particularly steep the sides of the gorge are closing in.
Deep cuts in the rock sides appear and the waterfalls are steeper.

(£55 for a 7 by 21 inch ! I need to get myself a poster printer.)

By the way,if anyone does steal my pictures for publication,you'd better give me the recognition or you'll get sued!Nuff said.

To the left above is the arch where the Cladagh tumbles out the side of the Cuilcagh mountain.

I won't go into detail,you can magnify the information board later.

A board tells me this is the Marble Arch.

There's no one around,and no 'keep out' signs so I'm taking a closer look at the 'Phreatic Tube'.

It's slippery under the Marble Arch,so I wouldn't advise anyone else to try getting closer.
Unless like me you think it's the picture that counts.

Now I'm looking down into the Arch through Maggie's Hole.The reason for the name is also on the information board in the next picture.

The Marble Arch show caves were only opened up to the public in 1985.It was as late as 1970 that Fermanagh council first thought of them as a tourist attraction.

Over the years I've been coming here,the caves have been a topic of conversation.They crop up frequently in stories of fugitives hiding out,and cross border smuggling.

Now I'm below the visitors centre and the entrances to the caves.It's quite a few years since I took a boat trip under here.I won't be going down today.

Steep steps lead down to the entrance...

...a sign says 'No entry without a guide'.I suppose I'd better not then.
That's quite a torrent down there.

Have a look at this full size.
Don't pictures come out better when the sun comes out.

It's time to retrace my steps and go visit some folks.I've a boat to catch.

I love this walk.

1 comment:

  1. Newton, sorry to hear about a funeral, soon enough you will be back to your group & walks...
    Great blogs as usual!
    Michael :-)


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