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The Kerry Way : Glenbeigh to Galway’s Bridge

On Saturday May 25th twelve members of Ballyhoura Bears spent a very enjoyable nine and a half hours on the Kerry way. On a soft Irish May morning we left Glenbeigh at 10 o’clock climbing steadily through Gowlane up Windy Gap to descend into Glencar to a very welcome cup of coffee at The Climber’s Inn served with a welcoming smile. Then on to a soft green path beside the river Caragh mermeging onto a tarred road at Bealalawbridge. After ten minutes we were back on the hillside guided by the waymarks at all the significant points gazing in awe at the serene beauty of Lough Acoose. We were now into remote mountain area meeting occasional hikers coming against us before we zigzagged up to the pass between Beanndarrig and Curraghmore.

Descending the Lack road gave us an impressive view of the Bridia valley where the sheep grazing on the green lowland fields provided a strong contrast with the rocky terrain we had left behind. Stopping for a quick snack we didn’t delay at the Monster Cookie café as Bears and “monsters” don’t mix. Then upwards again contouring the side of Brassel mountain which afforded us wonderful views of Cummeenduff Lough and Glen . The Black valley stretched out in front of us with purple covered slopes of Mullach to our right basking in the evening sunlight. This stretch was all tarred road and more traffic as cars turned up towards the Gap of Dunloe. The quiet church nestling in the valley drew us in for a peaceful moment of meditation. Knowing the end was in sight as we drew near to Lord Brandon’s cottage our legs seemed to take wings as we were once again on the forest path for the final gentle climb to Galway’s Bridge.A big thank you to our leader Billy O’Donnell for his orgainastion and continuous encouragement on the day .