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Thursday, 25 August 2011

My round trip August 2011-part 1-Ireland

It's the 5th of August 2011 and I'm heading off for a couple of weeks to visit family and friends.
My first stop is in Ireland so I'm on the boat from Stranraer to Belfast

 The Stena Navigator is my boat.

It's not a bad day to travel so I'm on the deck a lot.This rope bridge at Finnarts Bay is a bit dicey,I know.

Ailsa Craig,Knockdolian and Corsewall lighthouse are the last pictures I take before I get to where I'm heading.

After a reasonably comfortable drive from Belfast I get to the east of Upper Lough Erne and pitch my tent up at the Mullynascarthy-Caravan-Park-Lisnaskea .I'll spend my first night under canvas and explore a little.

Upper Lough Erne is very popular with the boating fraternity and I take a look around Carrybridge as well as sampling good food and drink at the Carrybridge Hotel.

There's some lovely flowers in the garden.

It rained throughout the night,but my tent didn't leak and I slept well.
Next day it's on to the Blacklion/Belcoo area on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.I've enough Sterling and Euros for my needs either side of the border,but generally either currency is accepatable both sides along the border towns and villages.

No ! I'm not back in Dumfries and Galloway,this Thornhill is on the Dowra road just off the main Enniskillen Sligo road.The Gaelic translation is Hill of the Thornwood.

Some of the good folk I'm visiting.
Six week old Agnes Helen is the star of the show

Church ruins at Thornhill

Evening view from Thornhill.

Sunset at Kiltaglassan on Lough Macnean Upper

Onto another day and I'm heading out on my pilgrimage to climb to the 'Monument' atop Cuilcagh Mountain.
Here,nestling in the trees is the old homestead from where I'll begin my climb.
Cuilcagh isn't a particularly high mountain at 2182 ft (665m),it's the 165th highest in the whole of Ireland but the highest in both Fermanagh and County Cavan.

I've had a few tasty trout from this pool over the years.

Gaining a little height I'm looking over the Glangevlin community.
Homesteads are scattered far and wide.

Above me the mist rolls in,it's not a great hill climbing day.

Cuilcagh's vegetation is rich in variety and I took the following pictures at various elevations on my climb starting with the lowest.  
Cuilcagh is one of the most important sites in Ireland for upland insects,but I'm not looking for them on a day like this.

Some strange creature coming out of the mist ? No,someone's started to build a new cairn.

There are a lot of rocky ridges along here.The plateau is the border between Northern and Southern Ireland.

A misty summit.

High winds mean I've a problem getting a self portrait.
The camera stayed still on the 4th attempt.

At one time it was only the sheep farmers who climbed Cuilcagh.It's now appearing on many walking routes and brochures.Now as I look around I see empty drink cans,plastic bags and food wrappers stuffed into the rocks.It's saddening.

Is this an alternative way into the Marble Arch Caves 
Maybe I'll investigate next time I'm up.

As I begin my descent,I come across a youth club climbing to the summit.
In forty years of climbing Cuilcagh either by myself or in a family group this is the first time I've ever encountered another group.I hope you took your litter away guys.

It begins to clear up a little as I descend.There are supposed to be 365 stretches of water in County Cavan.
Fermanagh has Upper and Lower Lough Erne.
I can now see much of it.

Later I get this panorama of Glangevlin and Cuilcagh from Curraghglass

The above panorama can also be viewed wide or full screen on Panogio

My next post will see me at Rosslare Harbour.


  1. Sounds and looks a wonderful trip. Your point about litter is very valid why can people not just take it home with them.

  2. Looks like a nice day out. While the visibility gets poor in the mist, there is some magic in those misty pictures!

    While I try be broad-minded and understand different kinds of living (and hiking), littering is something I don't understand. No-one enjoys empty drink cans or food wrappers around. If had the strength to carry them full into the nature, you surely can take them home as well?

  3. Loved the mist coming off the hillside in your evening view from Thornhill.
    Great pictures from Cuilcagh too (carefully avoiding the rubbish - it's really not good). You can just feel what it's like to be up the hill Jim.

  4. Cheers Sandy,the evening misty mountain was magical.

  5. Thanks Gordon and Maria,It really doesn't make any sense to throw away rubbish in places like this.If it is walking groups that are doing it then their leaders need some more education.


Thanks for all your comments. I may not get to reply to them all, but you may be sure they'll be appreciated.

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