I thought I’d add a ‘quick’ post pulling together some photos from my hiking and cycling excursions over the past couple of months.
First up is an image from a cycle back in September.
This was taken quite close to home, along the southwest shore of Lough Neagh at Brockagh, County Tyrone. I regularly cycle along the lough and never tire of the expansive views, which change as you move around the shore. This is looking across Counties Armagh and Down to the distant Mourne Mountains, about 60kms away. Slieve Donard, the highest point in the province of Ulster, is on the left.
Next up are a couple of images from a hike in the Castlegal Hills of north Leitrim.
This line of craggy summits faces the main Dartry mountain range across the Glencar Valley, and I’ve often gazed over at them from my oft-travelled back route to the west of Ireland via Dromahair and Collooney. They comprise the well known ‘sleeping giant’ figure when viewed from across Lough Gill (itself seen in second image).
This was my first time walking in them and I loved their irregular shapes which brought to mind photos of Iceland and the Faroe Islands. We also had an enjoyable birthday cake stop on the way down, plus a visit to the always stunning Glencar Waterfall afterwards.
Now onto some photos from a hike in the lesser visited western Mournes in County Down.
Highlights included my first time exploring the granite tors of plucky little Hen Mountain, and the views over Spelga Reservoir from Slievenamiskan and Cock Mountain. Our energy was sapped from the boggy terrain and the clocks had just gone back, so we dithered over tackling one final summit, Rocky Mountain.
There were no regrets, though, when we reached the top just in time to enjoy a golden sunset, with a new-found glimpse of Carlingford Lough and the Cooley Mountains to the south.
Finally, a shot from a recent ‘moonlit hike’ in the Sperrin Mountains with Mid Ulster Walking Club.
There are a lot of night hikes in the Irish walking calendar but I’ve never felt the urge to do one until I heard about this one around Banagher Forest. The tranquil ten-mile-or-so looped route is a favourite of mine; a variation of it is described on the WalkNI website.
The highlight was reaching Banagher Dam just after midnight, with the waters of Altnaheglish Reservoir (still the main water supply for Derry City) clearly visible in the moonlight. Night shots aren’t my forte and I need more practise but I like the colour and atmosphere here, even if the brightness is exaggerated.
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