Clicking a picture will bring up all the posts pictures in a slideshow. To view an individual picture in full screen, right click and select 'Open link in new tab'

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Ramblers Trip 2013 to the Mountains of Mourne - Day 4 - Lough Shannagh and Warrenpoint

It's Thursday already.
We were going to climb Slieve Donard today, but it's too windy. The forecast is for showers.
Instead we'll take a walk up to Lough Shannagh and see how it looks from there. Maybe we'll climb Doan ? 
These information boards are very good. The walk start is by the Gamekeepers Lodge Equestrian Centre. 
It's roughly a 4 mile walk in to Lough Shannagh. Up to now all twelve of us have kept together for the walks, but the climb down to the Ben Crom reservoir yesterday took it's toll on a few knees.

There are some grand looking horses at the stables, but there seems to be quite a lot running free in the mountains. I wonder whether they are just horses put out to grass towards the end of their lives, or are they genuine wild or part wild ones?

It's the windiest day yet and the clouds are flying past. Over to the north west it looks ominous.

Reaching the Mourne wall we're reduced to ten, the 'Weaver's struggling and A.O'K will walk back with her.

We get a view of the Ben Crom reservoir dam. Did we really descend that slope yesterday ?

This is the Miner's Hole river and someone's investigating.

Most of the bridges and walls in the Mournes are fairly solid. 
I guess they have to be, Northern Ireland gets more than it's fair share of stormy weather.

Here's a bit of self promotion. We're heading for that thar hill ! Thanks again to my other photographic contributors.

It's tough going against the wind, we've had a little bit of a snow/sleet shower.

There's a shelter on the map. This is it.
While some huddle in the shelter........

Some of us brave it outside as a storm heads our way.

The sleet is almost horizontal.
After the storm passes over, we take a vote whether to climb Doan or not. It was eight to two against. I think Shorty and myself have to be grateful to the other eight for their sense. On the walk back another snow/sleet/rain/hail storm blew up, and looking at my fellow walkers being buffeted from side to side we looked as though we'd been on a two day bender ! 

Amazingly though, we were soon blow dried with the wind and the sun made an appearance.
A sheltered moment behind the Mourne Wall


It's posing time

It seems further back than it was coming up.
The back of Shorty's hat gives an indication of the wind strength

Look at the size of that, and isn't the wall high too !

Here's a couple of the steeds at the Gamekeepers Lodge Equestrian Centre.

Back at the Mourne Lodge we've time to relax before heading out to Warrenpoint for our dinner. Nine of us are eating out tonight, three are cooking for themselves but will catch up with us later.
No minibus tonight, we take the cars.
This is where we'll dine. It's Restaurant 23 at the Balmoral. On entering we found that we were an hour early. Mairead has been in touch and had booked us in at 8.O'clock.
We were however soon seated and being looked after by Fiachre, our maître d, who just happened to be Mairead's nephew. The restaurant has a Michelin Star and three AA Rosettes and is listed as being in the top three restaurants in Northern Ireland. Suffice to say it was a gourmet treat. Great service, thank you Fiachre.  

After dinner we drove round to a car park closer to the town centre looking for where the music was. Warrenpoint hosts an annual festival called Blues on the Bay
We almost did a circuit back to the Balmoral before we learned that the Whistledown Hotel was where we needed to be. It was packed to the heavens, but the 'Teacher', who'd come with the other self caterers a little earlier had acquired us a corner and some seats. Radio Ulster with Ralph McLean were in attendance recording the show, and Sandi Thom (I wish I was a punk rocker)  was singing as we settled down.
It was a loud but brilliant show.

I'd forgotten to bring my camera with me, but Scoop got pictures of the artistes.
They were all good but one artiste I guess I should mention is Carvin Jones THE CARVINATOR
He was totally amazing. Brought back memories of Jimi Hendrix.
After the show, a few of us moved to another venue where we ended up dancing in the foyer before making our way back to Atticall. I got a couple of shrieks from my passengers for taking a twisty bridge too fast (I didn't think so, but never mind) so my apologies ladies.
So ended another great day in the Mournes.
What are we doin tomorrow ?


  1. I'm amazed at the stamina of your group Jim. Alex and I are just back
    from a 3 day trip up north and all we wanted to do at night afterwards was go to sleep in the tents as soon as we got back.
    Where do you get your energy levels from?
    Walking by day, party by night.
    Keith Richard and Ronnie Wood could take lessons from you guys.

  2. Ah, but you can't compare our walks with yours Bob. You and Alex actually climb mountains. I think the partying spurred us onto the next day's walk. I guess we were reclaiming a little bit of our lost youth.


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

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Creative Commons License
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.

Morning deer

Morning deer
is someone watching me