River deep and mountain high

 

You will not need a weather report today – you should be able to write the script yourself. However, nature did relent a little and much of the day was spent in drizzle that came from guilty clouds. Ireland had a monochrome day today and it was only with difficulty that we managed to find any colour to brighten your evening. We also spent much of the day wondering how guide book writers can get it so dreadfully wrong. For example, the guide book might say that a bridge across a river is missing but advise you that it won’t be a problem because there are skilfully placed stepping stones. If the guide book had been written in the height of a summer drought, perhaps that would explain why being confronted by a rapidly flowing river twenty feet wide, two feet deep and without a stepping stone in sight focuses the mind somewhat. Another interesting mind game to pass a damp Thursday might be to consider when a “boggy patch” becomes a lake. Today these interesting questions were researched at first hand.

But first; the day started a bit badly. The route was impassable and it was necessary to leave the railway track option for most of the morning and follow the old road towards Clifden. The scenery along this section our walk is utterly stunning and if you have never been to this part of Ireland you are in for a treat when you finally manage to get here. By lunchtime we were able to re-join the track and enjoy some of the most exhilarating walking of the trip so far. Unfortunately the quality cannot be sustained after so much rain and the excellent sections needed to be balanced against the muddy bits. There was excitement aplenty during the course of the day. Many of the bridges that originally allowed the trains to cross rivers are still intact, but some aren’t. So what would you do if you were walking along an embankment thirty feet above a raging torrent and you discover that the bridge has been removed?

Let’s look at the day’s images and you may begin to see just what problems had to be overcome.

IMG_1715

If you look hard enough you will find a riot of colour even in unpromising situations

IMG_1725

At times the path was pretty well impassable ….

IMG_3146

And then it got worse!

IMG_3112IMG_3125

IMG_3157IMG_1736

But, generally the path was good

IMG_3120

Sometimes, though, you hit a problem that needs solving. Do you fancy this; just a fifteen foot drop into a river?

IMG_9888

Usually the bridges were intact …

IMG_9903

but not always…

IMG_3108

and then you’re pretty well knackered!

IMG_3100

Some rivers are fast flowing and wide …

IMG_3107

IMG_3154

IMG_3156

     … but one aspect they all share is that they are very wet!   

                 IMG_3141

Of course there are compensations around every corner

IMG_3151

 

IMG_3095

IMG_3098

IMG_3119

IMG_3123

IMG_9892

A local muppet

IMG_9906

We should finish our walk tomorrow and the forecast is for sunny intervals. The guide book – which has been spectacularly useless for much of the journey – advises us that soon after we start tomorrow we will be traversing one of the most desolate areas in Europe and that for five or six miles we will not come into contact with any evidence of human occupancy; a bit like Sedbergh then!

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s