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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Ramblers Trip 2013 to the Mountains of Mourne - Day 3 - Blue Lough and the Silent Valley

What a great night we had last night. I forgot to mention that before leaving the Corner House, we linked arms with the musicians and other folk and sang 'Auld Lang Syne'
Brilliant !

Getting back last night wasn't as late as it might have been, but we'd arranged a later start anyway.
Shorty and A.O'K have sorted a moderate walk out for us today.

We leave one car outside the Silent Valley entrance, and park the other cars in a car park a couple of  miles to the east.
We get acquainted with the Mourne Sense code.

A very slight incline gets us on the move via Carrick Little and Carrick Big. It's not a bad day weatherwise.

Our route takes us along the track just to the east of  Slieve Binnian, the third largest of the Mournes

To the North and East I take this panorama

A couple of miles in and we reach Blue Lough. It's a rugged and stony terrain up here. 
Time for a sweetie break. 

Back on the move this is the view ahead of us................

......................while behind us

Just beyond Buzzard's Roost we're looking down on Ben Crom reservoir.
It's a precipitous descent. Parts of it just about involved rock climbing. However there are white bags with path making materials here, and the lower slopes have already been worked on.

We have lunch overlooking the mighty reservoir. After lunch a walk across the dam is in order.............

.................however, some of us haven't quite finished eating !

We think that these are surveying pillars in the pictures.
From the pillar top left, I took the other three pictures.
A 'comfort stop' moment caused a spontaneous outburst of laughter when the walk resumed. (Sorry, no details) 

This robin was almost eating out of my hands.

Roughly 260 steps take us down below the dam

The 'Weaver' loved the patterns coming over the dam. I wonder if she's going to try to recreate them on her looms ?

It's time for a rake of photographs

Britain was once the world's industrial leader. Why can't we get people off the dole and start being 'Great' again. Rant over !

There are some pictures of the building of the reservoir on this link.

Slievenaglogh towers over the Silent Valley

A few points of interest along the way. Whether it was just the wind or maybe there's some other explanation, but (bottom right) there were equidistant parallel lines on the water.Any reservoir experts out there.

The cone peak in the middle is Doan. I was going to climb it Last August
Will I get another chance?

Here's the 'Teacher' with a trio of lovely ladies. Must be the 'Buff' on top of his head that attracts them.

Scoop's quite light so I lifted her onto this dais to get a decent picture.
Most of the picture is OK, but part of it is rubbish. LOL That lassie has such an infectious smile.
 There wasn't enough water in the reservoir for the overflow so here's a link to it last August.

Is this an impression of Neville Chamberlain ?

Next came a visit to the cafe in the Silent Valley where we enjoyed very tasty scones and drinks. 
I now have to take the drivers back to their cars while the other walkers can take their time to stroll to the entrance gates.
A poignant reminder of fatalities. 

We pass the duckpond on the way to the exit. There are quite a number of cygnets around.
This was a very enjoyable walk today.
Later that day we were surprised to see another minibus pull up to take us back to the Harbour Inn at Annalong 
Maybe it was the singing that put Brian off.
Anyway our driver tonight was Mervyn of East Coast Promotions. We saw him being interviewed the next night on BBC Radio Ulster (more on the next post).
As well as driving a minibus, Mervyn is also the base guitarist with the group Idle Hands.
Isn't it amazing what you can find on the internet.

The Harbour Inn  have a £10 meal deal Tuesday till Thursday, and it was fabulous.
Another great day here in the Mountains of Mourne.


  1. Looks like you were lucky with the weather on your adventure. Always better when its sunny on the hills.
    Like me some folk might have missed these posts Jim as I had to go into 'older posts' to find them.
    I wondered where the other three days of your trip had got to:)

  2. I guess my re-dating has had an adverse effect on the commenting page right enough Bob. We were very lucky with the weather, but I always try to book the sunshine early anyway.


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