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Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Ramblers Trip 2013 to the Mountains of Mourne - Day 2 - Rocky Mountain, Annalong and Rostrevor

It's a nice spacious lounge and kitchen in the hostel. The early risers got plenty of room to prepare their breakfasts and their pack up. Those who rose later had a little less room, and were required to do a little more manoeuvring. 
Once again thanks to Scoop and others for their contribution of photographs. (Just to clear things up a little, they are mostly mine. Not that I'm trying to denigrate the other's pictures. I better shut up while I'm still ahead)
Day 2 - Rocky Mountain, Annalong and Rostrevor
There's a meal booked in Rostrevor tonight, it'll be followed by a music session in another pub.
Today's walk therefore is one that shouldn't overtax us and will keep us awake in case it's a long night.
It's about 5 miles to the start point near Annalong village
There's a sizeable boat out to sea.

We saw a track alongside this field with a sign saying Round Seefin.
There were sheep and young lambs in this field and we really should have taken the track, but I was sticking to the printed route. A note to this is a walk in need of updating.


Our first target is Round Seefin

We're soon high enough to see extensive views east and south.
To the south there was Carlingford Lough and the coast line to Howth near Dublin.
Across the water Anglesey could just be made out.

Our resident forestry consultant in the group wasn't overly impressed with the trees in the Mournes, but these three make a pretty picture.

An eruption ?.......................... it's one of Scoop's capturing a thrown stone.
We follow a drystone wall from Round Seefin which will link with the Mourne Wall.

This was an amazing moment when we heard a loud neighing on the peaks of Round Seefin and this fella appeared.

We've now reached the Mourne Wall
Eighteen years in construction, it's in a remarkable good condition.
Time for a distribution of sweets.

There are beautiful stiles throughout the mountains

There's no problem following this route.
It's windy along Long Seefin

Could that be Slieve Moughanmore over there ? No, it's probably Slieve Lamagan.

An intake of glucose and I'm away trying to get out of the wind.
Rocky Mountain straight ahead.

Rocky Mountain is the only one that the 'Wall' doesn't cross the summit.
We go beyond the shortest point up to take the easier route from the west.
The biggest of the Mournes is Slieve Donard, and in the above picture it's the big one right of centre. Will we get up there one day this week ?

The cameras come out in force on the summit..........

It's a fabulous panorama.
Prominent above are Cove Mountain, Slieve Beg, Slieve Commedagh and Slieve Donard

A rocky descent. Not good for the 'Weaver's dodgy knee. She's a stalwart however and never complains.

Time for a rest

Here we don't seem to have descended much further than the previous picture (It's the same spot!). The more observant amongst you will already have noticed that a couple of outer layers have been shed by a couple of walkers.

Skirting a forest plantation we get onto Dunnywater track and the going gets easier.
It looks like some of the group are already turning native !

This wee mite was loving the attention he was given.

I haven't been able to find out what the castellated gate leads to ?
But now we're back at the cars.

Here's a nice poem by a Mourne native, poet and author, composed in 1962.

'Wayfarer in the Mournes'
J.S. Doran
Sing a song of pleasant beaches
Where the mountains meet the sea.
Sing of woods and shadowed streamlets
From the uplands bounding free.
Sing of crags against the high sky,
Shepherd's path and quarry track,
Stone fringed fields, scots pine and fuchsia,
All the things that call us back.
Sing of remote tarn and valley,
Brown bog, castellated ridge.
Sing of quiet road and loanin
Winding to a granite bridge.
Sing of gorse and rock-strewn foothills,
And of tidy homesteads where
Peace-loving, kindly people
Smile a Mourne welcome there.

It's time for tea, coffee and scones.
The Harbour Inn Annalong was our destination. The service, the harbour setting, the views and the ambiance here was so good that we booked dinner for the following evening.   

A walk around the harbour after refreshments.
Unperturbed friendly Black Guillemots hung around.

The waterfall above the ducks was originally the outflow from the Annalong Corn Mill

There's a great view of Rocky Mountain from here.

Now it was time to return to Mourne Lodge to prepare for our night out.
Mairead had contacted a regular minibus driver, Brian who she always uses, and we worked out a price for two night's travel. Very reasonable too.

Rostrevor was our destination and our meal was at the Kilbroney Bar and Restaurant
The meal was excellent but at the moment the blinds have to be almost closed to hide the building site at the back. If it's the Kilbroney's own back yard and they're developing it, it'll be good. If not, well!  

After dinner a short walk took us down to the Corner House
One of our own group had brought along her violin/fiddle to see if she could join a music session.
 After a quiet start in the pub, the musicians and singers began arriving.
It wasn't long before we were carousing, clapping and singing along.

I should have brought my video camera with the zoom microphone.

A few of the cracking folk who entertained us

We were out other nights on the trip, but this was the most unforgettable session.

Our very own musician performs a solo.

Seating space was at a premium, but we loved it.
Thanks for a fabulous night Corner House.
The Fiddlers Green International Festival 2013 will be just amazing

The singing continued on the minibus home.
What a brilliant day.
It's Wednesday tomorrow.


  1. I'm catching up Jim! Amazing vistas, happy walkers, interesting commentary, animals, birds, parties, music - what more could one wish for! It was between three but my favourite photo for this post is 'waterfall above ducks' - do say its your photo :)

  2. Great photographs Jim.
    Nothing better than walking new mountains in great weather unless it's visiting a new pub in a different country afterwards for a few pints.
    The Mountains of Mourne remind me of Arran with similar granite tors and high level pavements.

  3. My I'm behind! I'm getting to do your entire irish trip in one big sitting. My views of the Mountains of Mourne are all taken from the outside of a tent at Portpatrick on a clear day. Good to see them closer up - I seem to remember you've been before (maybe somebody else has).
    Great to catch a session as well - but then I do have a bit of a session bias.

  4. My I'm behind! I'm getting to do your entire irish trip in one big sitting. My views of the Mountains of Mourne are all taken from the outside of a tent at Portpatrick on a clear day. Good to see them closer up - I seem to remember you've been before (maybe somebody else has).
    Great to catch a session as well - but then I do have a bit of a session bias.

  5. I took the same picture Rose, it's just that Scoop's came out that little bit better. I agree It's a fabulous picture.

    Thanks Bob, quite a few of our party also compared it to Arran.

    You're right Sandy, I visited last August. Our musician thinks she's caught the session bug, you might just bump into her sometime.


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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