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XXth edition !

Since 2013 I have nearly not updated this website. But make no mistake, I went to Ireland that year. This 18th trip was a special event because I bring my parents with me for the first time. This travel has had some memorable unforeseen that I will try to not repeat them...
2014 was also a very good trip where I climbed again some summits like Carrauntoohil, Mangerton, Brandon, Mweelrea, Croagh Patrick for 14th times and Mullacor. I met nice guests in Dingle and I spoke with two brothers brewers from the famous Guinness brewery!
In 2015, for this 20th journey in the great Éirinn, a friend joined to me for few steep walks among green landscapes.


As usual, flight tickets and rented car were booked few months earlier for lower prices. For nights, we do not need to book any bed and breakfast except in Dublin. We will stay at two nights par B&B, we will take our time (and moreover, I will come again!).

The program

When we go from the airport, we plan our route to Killarney and Dingle, Ballyvaughan in Burren, Castlebar in Mayo and Laragh in Wicklow. About the walks, we will take a selection of walks with nice panoramas, turf and rocks.

The photos

Photos which illustrate this travel's diary were taken with an iPhone 5. More pictures are available on the interactive map and the gallery where some of them were also taken with a camera Olympus XZ-1.

Marseille airport
14/05 : Dublin - Killarney
I agree with my friend who arrived earlier to wait for me at hire cars desk to reduce the time spent to wait for. We booked a small car, but we go to Killarney in a spacious berline. The weather is unusually fresh and overcast this year : 12°C is cold for the season, even for an irish.

15/05 : Muckross Lake
Happy and ready, vous choose the Glenbeigh mountains. At our arrival, the rain is falling horizontallyand clouds are going down from the summits. We decide to not start our walk and then we go back to Killarney to walk around Muckross Lake through Torc Waterfalls.
Near Torc Waterfall

Lough Eager
16/05 : Coumloughra horseshoe walk
Since few years , a car park is dedicated to walkers who come more and more. With a mild weather, go to conquere the roof of Ireland, Carrauntoohil and its 1039m. A small crowd is formed on the summit. The view is beautiful and the cross who was vandalized last winter is erected again... The way back is achieved at a high speed through Caher summits.

Coumloughra Horseshoe

The evening we dine at Laurels restaurant : their fish'n ships are as usual as good but the music is a beat boring since they did not change it during last four or five years !

From Mullaghanattin
17/05 : Mullaghanattin (773m)
Mullaghanattin, this is the Mountain. Seen from its south side, its pyramidal shape is impressive. The walk is a nice loop from summit to summit. It is a bit strenuous but the panorama is so nice that we can only enjoy the effort. The weather is fresh and its a good thing, doing the walk under a warm sun makes it harder (tested in 2008). Be careful when going down, the ground can be very slippy and it will not forgive you if you fall...
WARNING : if you are not confident with irish mountains, this walk may be not for you. A good walker is the one who knows when to turn back...

From Mullaghanattin

Ballydavid North

18/05 : Dingle tour
After the efforts during last days, rest is welcome. We go to Dingle through O'Connor Pass. We stop at the pass and after few pictures (bad), we reach the town where a very good bed &bed breakfast is waiting for us.

19/05 : Gallarus Oratory & Brandon (952m)
The sky is disturbed this morning, that is why we choose to go along coastal road around the peninsula to finally the Gallarus Oratory. After this lazy tour, we start a walk to Brandon summit. Nothing hard, you just have to follow the white crosses along the path. Nevertheless clouds are on the mountains and half of walk is done in a thick fog. On top, the panorama is the same as last year : totally hidden minus the horizontal rain. With only 2°C and a strong wind, the atmosphere is freezing in shorts ! We stay in the fog a few time to eat some cereal bars, then we go down at fast pace, happy to be there.
Gallarus Oratory Coumeenoole From Graigue

20/05 : Cliffs of Moher and Moneen Mountain
Famous natural monument, they are like an irish version of Etretat. The place has changed since last decade : in 1997, you visited it through fields. Today, the site is nicely equipped to accommodate tourists. At the end of afternoon, we reach Ballyvaughan where we stop for a wild walk in Burren from our B&B. I print the route in my mind for the future. Moneen Mountain offers a good view on the area. Walking on the ground made of limestone is always special : this is a little as if you were on an other planet in contrast with the rest of Ireland.
Cliffs of Moher Cliffs of Moher Around Gleninagh Mountain

Around Gleninagh Mountain

21/05 : Ballyvaughan - Galway - Castlebar
Today, Galway is a good city stop. Our mission is to buy postal cards for our friends and family. After this halt, we go to Castlebar through Connemara.

22/05 : Maamturks
We leave our B&B early in the morning for a long walk but we cannot reach our start point because of a private road. We decide to go for another walk not too far on west side of the mountains. After an ascent on a grassy slope, we reach a flat ridge. The ground becomes rocky until the green way back. Clouds hung on the summits make us losing our way on the wrong ridge.
Binn Chaonaigh Binn Chaonaigh Below Lough Maumahoge

23/05 : Croagh Patrick (762m)
For this 15th climb of the sacred mountain, the trail is overcrowded. As usual, I am torn between dismay and amusement when I see people maybe well dressed for shopping but certainly not for such a walk. The summit is in the clouds and the wind is strong. Without running, we are back to the car 2h10 later. In the evening we dine a t Coxe's, nothing special but a good value in Castlebar.

24/05 : Short tour in Connemara
Little walk in Connera National Park. We climb Diamond Hill with, for once, no wind. After this little effort, we follow the Sky Road before a gastronomic pause in Clifden.

25/05 : Castlebar - Laragh
We arrive late afternoonand the B&B I use to sleep is full, except a hut in the garden. We are happy to stay in this bungalow. Then we go to Glendalough and we finish our day in a pub. For the evening, I choose to watch Prometheus on TV : not too bad but far from the first Alien opus.
Glendalough monastic site Glendalough monastic site Laragh Hut

26/05 : Lugnaquillia (925m)
This is our last day before Dublin, that is why we decide to finish our walks serie with a big race. Under a sunny sky we go to conquer Lugnaquilla. The climb begins on a forest track and quickly we meet the turf. on the Cloghernagh slopes. At this point, the most strenuous part is down, we reach Lugnaquilla summit on the border of the plate. We take our time for a cereal bar and we continue to Camenabologue. At the pass just before Table Mountain we go down the valley. Along the trail we see red deers and a fox. We are back at Baravore car park after 4h30, 19km and an ascent of 960m : we will sleep well tonight.
Lugnaquillia Mount

Sfera con sfera
27/05 : Dublin
This last day before returning to France is, we... walk in the city from Croak Park to O'Connel Street, Parnell Street, St Stephen's Green and Merrion Square. Our feet take us from Trinity College to th Guinness Storehouse lately. Finaly we spend our evening at Temple Bar where for the first time in Ireland a strange Fish'n Chips day is celebrated.

28/05 : Retour
Waken up at 04h15, our holidays end in an already very active airport at dawn. We take our last breakfast before the final take off.

In the sky
Since many years, I go to Ireland mostly in same places. Some will say that I could change, but there is a great satisfaction to be able to walk into foreign mountains, to be familiar with summits around you and to drive on some tortuous shortcuts. And more, there is the pleasure of seeing some people. This 20th trip ends with a famous phrase from the cinema that sums up pretty much the situation : "I'll be back..."

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