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Monday, 1 June 2015

Ben Bulben Magic by Hail or Shine

After a spectacular walk along the Gortarowey Trail, now known as Ben Bulben Walk, last May I was looking forward to going again. A lot of people were excited about sharing this too and often sent messages to me asking when I was going here ...


Above is the view from the forest car park, surrounded by some lovely native woodland. Alas, only one person here to join our 'Bards In The Woods' walk, but it was very popular here, several people here to take this very scenic walk in their own way.

It is 4km round trip but the walk is very easy. Some mothers come here with strollers, some small children on trikes, and well behaved dogs allowed here without leads, despite sheep being around.

Before taking the trail, a little time among the flowers ...


The pretty but lethal to woodland rhododendrons


and bluebells still here too, quite late ...


Hawthorn blossoms also late ...


and bubbling stream ...


Last time I was here this had a sign offering the cottage as a holiday let ...


Then we open up to being quite close to the Ben Bulben base ...


Until this point we were enjoying unexpected warmish sunny weather and not the icy strong wind forecasted ... But a minute or so hailstones arrived, but not as a bluster. It was magical watching the shower glide mainly between us and the Ben Bulben face like a curtain closing then re-opening. Little fell on us. No pics of this phenomenon though.

except this attempted pic ...


On the other side is cabbage style plantation forestry, that does not hold well in storms ...


Observing small treats of colour along the track ...


Then the trail moves into the plantation ...


and other people join the adventure ...


Though a gap in these woods looking at the North rack face of Ben Bulben.


We heard a cuckoo echo against these rocks but did not see it ... for awhile.


Donegal Bay ahead, Donegal, including Slive League, behind the haze ahead


Gortnadrung beside us ...


Down this path to a seat for a cup of tea ...


On the return trail what looks like dolmen remains ...


One more pic of Ben Bulben before we leave this trail ...


Along the native woods path to a lovely view picnic spot where we shared tea, pasties and cake


Some hawthorn blossom before we go ...


This was a wonderful afternoon. Pity that so many people declined to share this afternoon with us. Largely dry, warmer than expected, and not cold like others reported elsewhere.


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