The Way to Ballingeary
Another day hiking in the hills is rewarded by the beauty of Gougane Barra. It is not a town but a lake with an island that has a tiny chapel on it. There is also a hotel and cafe beside it as well as a forest walk. So its a great place to spend the night and stroll around the forest before it gets dark. There are a few trail options and a couple of waterfalls.
The photos below include a goat (there is a herd of them on the hill descending into Gougane Barra), a circular thatched building (toilets!), the little chapel and lastly me having a well-deserved cuppa in the sitting room of the cosy Gougane Barra Hotel!
I didn't book accommodation in advance and the next three towns (Kealkill, Gougane Barra and Ballingeary) each only have one B&B/Hotel which were all booked out over the weekend. So now I'm off again, booking accommodation in advance from now on!
Here is a photo of the ruins of Carriganass Castle which is right outside of Kealkill. You can go 'inside' (no roof!) and there are some plaques with some historical information.
I passed by a house/farm on a quiet country road which had a lovely garden of flowers across the road from the house and a wooden carved statue of an angel. They also had two very happy, friendly pomeranians and one was licking my hand. Sweet dogs!
This section is a wet and sometimes muddy trek through the hills as it had once again rained the night before. The last stretch of the trail is on a nice little road which finally brings you through Glengarriff Nature Reserve before reaching Glengarriff Village. A few options for accommodation here. A few towns only have one B&B or Hotel so these must be booked about one week in advance. Im having difficulties with finding accommodation which is going to delay me a bit on my travels....
Today was a VERY long and exhausting day. Im no professional hiker and I'm only semi-fit so thats probably why! We followed a beautiful little road up the hill and there were lots of colours from flowers to all the different shades of green.
The views got more stunning half way up the hill as we could see views over the bay and Bere Island. The weather was perfect, no rain and a bit of sun so not too hot either! Once we were off the rough road and onto the grass it was actually quite swampy as it has been raining the night before. You need boots that are waterproof to the ankle (or wellingtons!!) as wet feet=hotspots for blisters!
My battery ran out after 13km or so. We passed by a rocky river at the top of one of the hills. There were many tiny waterfalls and always the trickle of a stream along the entire trail. We passed by a lake when the trail descended, then it went up hill again. Exhausting day but for a regular hiker I'm sure it would be pretty easy!
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