Beara to Breifne Way

The Beara-Breifne Way is a 500 km walking route which goes from the tip of  the Beara Peninsula at Dursey in Co. Cork to the Breifne area of Counties Leitrim and Cavan, following generally the line of the 17th century march of O’Sullivan Beare, the last great chieftain of the West Cork and South Kerry area. Members of the Galtee Walking Club and Ballyhoura Bears under the leadership of Mike Moroney have walked the full length of the Beara to Breifne Way in stages over different weekends in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Report on the Full Walk

On the weekend of St. Patrick 2014 an epic journey was undertaken by the Galtee Walking Club with our friends from the Ballyhoura Bears Club.  Following in the footsteps of Donal Cam O’Sullivan (The Last Great Chieftain) of Beara, his followers of over a thousand men, women and children including four hundred soldiers, who started out on New Years Eve 1602! Rody Tierney proposed that the Galtee Walking Club undertake this epic adventure at a club meeting in November 2013 which was duly taken on board by the Club committee.  Mike Moroney took on the role of mapping our route and the 12 (twelve) different ways  northwards to Blacklion taking in the counties of Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, Offaly, Galway, Roscommon, Sligo, Leitrim, and Cavan.
    On Saturday morning 15th March 2014 at 9:30am, starting from Dursey Pt. members from both the Galtee/Ballyhoura walking clubs (37) set out on a section of the beara way in summer like conditions climbing up onto the hillside overlooking the beautifully rugged  Beara Peninsula Coastline.  Our journey that weekend entailed walking from Dursey Pt. to Castletownbere (Day 1), over rocky terrain to Adrigole(Day2) and on the third day finishing in beautiful Glengariff, we were well and truly on our way. What a Paddies weekend with Ireland clinching the Rugby Championship beating France in Paris.
    Owen Ryan and John McNulty decide to undertake its next three stages together basing ourselves in the beautiful scenic Gaugane Barra, hotel transit providing the accommodation.  We used two vehicles to transport us to and from start/finish points.  We set out from Glengariff onto the rocky hillside overlooking the bay, it was also from this area that O’Sullivan set out on his epic mid-winter trek New Years Eve 1602.  We finished the Beara section and onto the Slieve Muskery way passing through the Kealkill area and through forestry to the glacier scared Gougane Barra with its enchanting lake and church founded by St. Finbarr. 
Day 5 was a marathon day staring out from Gougane Barra through to Ballingeary, Ballyvourney and onto Millstreet.  A meal of chilli con carne was cooked up, 2 pints of Guinness enjoyed and sound asleep in hotel transit by 10pm “well earned”.
Day 6 set out for Millstreet, crossed the river Blackwater and onto the Avondu way following the quiet country roads to New Market where a tree with 12 trunks is known as the 12 apostles.  Onwards to Lismire before linking up with the Ballyhoura way at St. Johns bridge.
The 7th day of our journey took in the complete 95km Ballyhoura way starting at 12:01am at St. Johns bridge North Cork and finished at Limerick Junction West Tipperary twenty two and a half hours later.  Travelling through the villages of Liscarrol, Churchtown over the Ballyhoura mountain range onto Kilfinnan, Galbally entering the beautiful Glen of Aherlow to Christ the King onto Tipperary Town and finally to Limerick Junction “a day to remember”.
For various reasons 18 months had passed before we set out on our journey again travelling from Tipperary Town on the Multeen way to the village of Donohill where O’Sullivan attacked the moate for its precious grain to feed his starving followers.  Onward to Ned of the hill countryside above Hollyford where a monument in the shape of a lighthouse is erected to his memory.  Day 8 was finished in fading light when we entered the village of Upperchurch.
    The next 3 days we travelled on the Ormond way travelling through the villages of Templederry, Toomevera, Cloughjordan, Ballingarry, Lohrra to the banks of the river Shannon at Portumna.  O’ Sullivan crossed the Shannon 3 miles north of Portumna using the hides of approximately 15 horses to construct 2 boats to ferry his followers across the kilometre wide Shannon river unlike us who used the bridge at Portumna.
The Hymnay way follows the bank of the river Shannon turning inland to Clonfert whose cathedral graveyard is the burial place of Brendan the Navigator.  Bogland is the main terrain to the site of the battle of Aughrim(12th July 1691).  Here to O’Sullivan made a stand at Bloody Hollow, although outnumbered 10 to 1 he out manoeuvred and routed the enemy and won the day.  A series of ridges formed during the ice age called the Esker Riada formed part of the trail which finished at Ballygar.
The Suck Valley way includes the villages of Cleggs “where Parnell made his final speech” Glinsk, Ballymoe, Ballinacough and onto Lough Glinn.  This is sheep country where the trail also crosses the bog lands and callous of the river Suck.
The Lung way follows the river Lung Northwards to Ballaghaderreen an area which was home to the first President of Ireland Douglas Hyde in his former years.  The trail is 45km in length and links up with the Miners way/Historical trail north of Boyle on the Curlew mountains where we heard the cuckoo on several occasions.  This route follows some of the paths used by the Miners working out of the old Arigna coal mines. The trail crosses over the Bricklives Mts making a circuit of the lakes Key & Arrow to Kiloran Castle.Lovely Leitrim village arrived  O’Sullivan’s remaining army & followers who now numbered only 35 to the safe haven of O’Rourkes Castle completing their 14 day/night epic journey.  Many thanks to Joesephine Tierney who supplied the champagne and cake which went down a treat, much appreciated.
John & Owen both continued on the 56km Leitrim Way following the canal bank to Drumshambo. The trail overlooks the eastern length of Lough Allen until the route links with the Cavan way at Dowra . The trail was mainly forest track passing St. Hugh’s Well,roadway leading into Cavan Burren Park with it’s hillside Giant’s grave. A newly constructed boardwalk was a promident feature on the landscape.Our epic journey 19 days & 727km arrived in Blacklion where we crossed the bridge to Belcoo which links with the Ulster way (some day god willing) best of luck also to the remainder of the group on their epic journey.

The Story of the Walk in Stages

March 15th, 16th and 17th, 2014

140316The Beara Way

To O’Sullivan Beara I’ll scribble this verse
That I may march into Leitrim before my spin in the hearse
We traversed your rugged peninsula this Patrick’s weekend
Three wonderful days with my comrades I spent

To the guesthouse proprietors we’ll give ten out of ten
They became baggage handlers for our women and men
They brought some to the pub without even a moan
And well before dawn they ferried them home

Day one brought us from Dursey to Castletownbere
Amid vistas and scenery unequalled elsewhere
Next day we set out with great vigour and will
And battled the slopes of ould rough Hungary Hill

On the Sugarloaf Mountain above Adrigole
We planned to toast St.Patrick at the next watering hole
Sweet memories we have and always will cherish
As we ended our trek in lovely Glengarriff

Thanks to Mike from the glen who charted our course
Then swept for three days – you are a wonderful force
Go raibh maith agat Breda – the best bean an ti
Bring us all back again to the hills by the sea

Poem by Rody Tierney
  
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Group of walkers from Galtee Walking Club and Ballyhoura Bears in Adrigole at the start of day three of the Beara-Brei​fne Way, St. Patrick's Day, 2014. (bigger photo)
Gerard Sheehy's photos

September 6th and 7th, 2014

Report by Rody Tiereney
Another successful tranche of this historic walk has been completed by a group of 20 club members under the joint leadership of Breda and Mike.
The Saturday trek started in the scenic village of Glengarriff. From here a short boat trip brought some of our members to the beautiful Garnish island. Others continued in the shadow of the Cabh Dudb mountain and over the Coomhola River, then into  the valley of An Coinigeor, with views of the Shehy mountains to our right where we encountered a herd of Highland cattle. The days walk ended with weary legs as we descended to the glacier lake of Gougane Barra. We enjoyed our dinner in the views of this ancient religious setting.
On Sunday morning we set out for Ballyvourney where some of us put our cupla focail to good use. Along this trail we came across many sites with standing stones and the old church where Donal Cam O’Sullivan and his famous troops camped and  rested . We continued by the  Bun Shidh Lann river which we crossed on two occasions and reached Ballyvourney in good time to see the match.

January 17th and 18th, 2015

Walkers from the Galtee and Ballyhoura clubs headed for Co. Cork last weekend to complete two more sections of the Beara Breifne Way, covering the ground between Ballyvourney and Newmarket. Thanks to Mike and Breda for organising the event.
This is Mike Moroney's report on the weekend.
Thanks to all for making the weekends on the Beara-Breifne Way so special. We have completed 187Km in 7 Day’s walking and climbed 6,190Metres. The total length of the walk is 685Km so there is a lot of walking left to do. Ballyvourney, covered in snow and ice, was the start of Saturday’s walk. The route followed a tarred road for a short distance before climbing through pasture and open moorland, before entering coniferous forestry. In the snow, we had magnificent views of the village, its oak woods, the Derrynasaggart Mountain range and the famous Paps of Dana. We followed forest tracks for several kilometres in knee deep snow crossing the county boundary into Kerry and back to Cork again as we winded our way below large windmills overlooking the plains of North Cork. The last part of the walk passed around Claragh Mountain into Millstreet, then entered the grounds of Drishane Castle and finished at Booing Fort outside Millstreet. On Sunday, we were not attacked by the MacCarthys of Drishane Castle but started our walk on the O’Keefe Booning Castle side of the Blackwater River, our route then travelled through Duhallow following quite country roads, Deernagree village via the Island Woods, crossing the River Dalua before reaching Millstreet. Well done to everyone.

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Group at Ballyvourney before starting out on the next section of the Beara Breifne Way to Millstreet on Saturday, January 17th, 2015.  9 photos

February 14th and 15th, 2015

The weekend of February 14th and 15th, 2015, saw walkers from the Galtee Walking Club and the Ballyhoura Bears complete two more sections of the Beara-Breifne Way under the skillful leadership of Mike Moroney. Over the Saturday and Sunday they walked from Newmarket in Co. Cork to Kilfinane in Co. limerick, crossing over some of the Ballyhoura range. Well done to all, particularly those who have completed all nine sections so far walked.

Beara-Breifne Way
On the Beara-Breifne Way on the weekend of February 14th and 15th, 2015.  15 photos 

June 20th and 21st, 2015

Two more sections of the Beara-Breifne Way, from Kilfinnane to Cappawhite, were walked under the guidance of Mike Moroney.
 
Beara Breifne Way
It was tough going on the Beara Breifne Way at Maureen Browne's house Ballylande​rs trying to get through 40 scones, 40 sandwiches and sweets. Day 10 of the Beara Breifne Way walk on Saturday June 20th, 2015.
2 photos

October 31st and November 1st, 2015

Report by Rody Tierney
The regular Breffni walkers met at Cappawhite with leader Mike Moroney and were joined by New York student Tim Antrim Cashin. Along the Multeen way in brilliant sunshine we climbed the Red Hill - avoiding turbine site works and forestry harvesting. We continued to the hill of Barna (380m) where we lunched beneath a huge turbine. We then made our way to the Milestone where we joined the Ormonde way. This comprises mostly farm land and some forest tracks. We trekked on to Upperchurch village where we had a pre arranged meal and minibus return to Cappawhite.
On Sunday morning we met again in Upperchurch and faced for Toomevara. This route brought us through Knockavitoge and onto Knocknamona where we descended and crossed the Clodiagh river. We crossed the bridge to the monument erected in memory of the great hurling team of 1927. Our next climb was to 254 and then along the Rathanure boreen to Templederry where we had a welcome lunch break. We proceeded to Latteragh over farmlands via Cloghinch and Gurteen with the Latteragh river on our right. From Seanin’s pub (alas now closed!) we made our way uphill to the standing stone and onwards to Toomevara where I was welcomed by my sister Esther.
Out thanks to all farmers whose lands we traversed, also a sincere thanks to Mattie Ryan- a renewed acquaintance – who has worked tirelessly for years to develop the Ormonde way. Our great appreciation also to Mike Moroney for all his work - preparing maps and leader skills. Thanks also to Kinnane restaurant in Upperchurch, Tipperary Inn Toomevara and taxi man Johnny O’Sullivan.

Beara-Breifne Way
Beara-Brei​fne Way on Sunday November 1st, 2015.  7 photos

November 28th and 29th, 2015

Report by Rody Tiereney
The Met Eireann Yellow gale warning did not deter the Galtee Walking Club Beire Breffni soldiers from travelling to Toomevara. All assembled at Casey’s service station on Saturday 18 November, 2015. We sheltered under the canopy to don our wet gear. Next we were treated to complimentary tea and coffee by Richard Casey and his pleasant deli staff. He also provided us with free car parking.
We marched out from Toom leaving behind the renowned Devil’s Bit mountain. Having passed through the motorway tunnel we saw Knockane Castle on our right.  The recently fitted styles on this section of the Ormonde way made this journey a lot easier. Thank you Matt Ryan!
We continued across Brownstown Bog and on to Cloughjordan. The picnic seats here were very welcome for our lunch break and our visit would not have been complete without a quick pint and local chat across the road in the Railway bar.
In heavy rain we proceed to Ireland’s first and only eco village and then on through Knockanacree wood. After another two hours trek - leaving Knockshegowna hill to our right - we arrived in Ballingarry village where minibus man Ken Daly was waiting to take us back for dinner at the Tipp Inn in Toom.
Next morning the brigade met again in Ballingarry to complete the last leg of the Ormode Way to Portumna. Despite weather conditions and a red gale warning we set off in the direction of Aglish where large trees and branches had been brought down - confirming the severity of the storm. After about three kilometres a deluge of rain lasting over an hour really tested the wet gear but failed to dampen the spirits of the crew. As we approached Aglish we turned right and over farmland until we came to the R 438. Here we stopped for a snack by some old buildings adorned with cut stone arched doorways.
We continued to Gortpheepra deer park and on by Lakeen castle which is a robust structure that has stood the test of time and the elements. Passing by an old church we picked up the track of the dismantled railway on to Clonmacaun and into the village of Lorrha. Here at the school entrance we enjoyed the packed lunch prepared by Patricia Sheerin – owner of B & B Sweet Home Alo Bama in Moneygall. Thanks Patricia!
After Lorrha we went on through Rath Abbeylands where again we used the old railway line that brought us to Portumna via the ferry inn where we crossed the Shannon bridge. We finished today’s trek at the newly erected sign where the Ormonde way meets the Hymany Way.
This was another great weekend with good company that included a lively sixteen year old lad Crevan from Co. Meath who came along with his Mum Deirdre and set a brisk pace for the two days. His new boots are well softened now!
NOTE. This last section of the Ormonde way requires some further development work which is expected to commence in the near future.

Beara-Breifne Way
Beara-Brei​fne Way on Sunday November 29th, 2015.   8 photos

February 20th and 21st, 2016

Saturday's Report by Rody Tiereney
On Saturday last, February 20, we resumed our Beara Breffni walk. A 9.30 start at the marina in Portumna brought the group along the Hymany way. The track on top of the flood defence embankment stretched along the western side of the mighty river Shannon for about 12k. The debris washed up on this two to three metre high walkway gave us a good idea of the effects of global warming.
About 3k into the walk we came to an ESB building. Here there is a plaque denoting where O’Sullivan Beara landed in his horse hide currach. After another 5 kilometres we arrived at Meelick harbour where we stopped for lunch and were very glad to avail of the shelter in a little shed – courtesy of a local farmer. We proceeded west for another 10k without any difficulty – thanks to the aid of new stiles and precise markings.
The last 2k of our journey was on main road and brought us into Clonfert where stands what is reputed to be the oldest Cathedral in Ireland. A visit here is must to see the beautiful stone work and carvings around the doorway!  Close by is a holy well in the centre of a large yew tree which is adorned with religious artefacts.

Sunday's report by Mike Moroney
Beara Breifne Way Day 17. Sun 21st February 2016
Starting at 9.30am from Clonfert to Aughrum our distance 29Km, height gained 130 Metres, time 6hr. Before leaving Clonfert we visited St. Brendan’s Cathedral with its greatest treasure the Hiberno Romanesque Doorway and its well by a votive tree bearing rags and various objects. Leaving Clonfert it was not long before we were going through farmland, forestry, industrially worked bogs, Grand Canal and traditionally worked bogs. Thrown in with this was a well-deserved tea break with our lunch provided by Mary Lynch of Oak Lodge B&B (087)7924161. We finished in Aughrim with a meal at Valeries Bar & Restaurant (086)2830673. Thanks to all who helped to make this an enjoyable weekend.


Beara-Breifne Way
Beara-Brei​fne Way on Saturday February 20th and Sunday February 21st, 2016.   3 photos

March 5th and 6th, 2016


Beara Breifne Way
Beara-Brei​fne Way on Saturday March 5th and Sunday March 6th, 2016. Aughrim to Castle Ffrench & Castle Ffrench to Creggs.   6 photos

Easter Weekend, March 26th, 27th and 28th, 2016

Report by Deirdre Rafter
Easter Weekend saw the Beara Breifne walkers cover a total of 101.6km from Creggs in Co. Roscommon to Ballinafad in Co. Sligo lead by Mike Moroney.
Saturday morning we left Creggs, pausing at a monument erected in 1946 by then Taoiseach Eamon de Valera to commemorate Charles Stewart Parnell, Creggs was the scene of the Irish patriot and Nationalists final speech before his death in 1891. Lunchtime found us in Ballymoe where we were given a warm welcome by the owners of The Grove Bar. Ballymoe was the birthplace of Eamon Ceannt one of the signatories of the proclamation and our walk took us past the old RIC Barracks where he was born in September 1881, his father James Kent was an RIC officer.  Ernie O'Malley author of "Another Man's Wound" and "The Singing Flame" had a narrow escape in Ballymoe during the War of Independance when he had to swim the River Suck to escape after being wounded by an RIC Constable. A plaque marks the spot and the begining of the Ernie O'Malley Walk. Saturday's walk finished in Trien. Sunday took us from Trien through Ballinlough and to the shores of Lough O'Flynn passing the ruins of the old Ballinlough Railway Station on the now disused Athlone to Westport line. Creaton's of Loughglynn provided a warm welcome at lunchtime where the owner JR Creaton told us the story of Sean Bergin from Nenagh who was killed along with Stephen Mc Dermott by the Black and Tans on 19th April 1921, we took a short detour off our planned route to visit the site of the ambush where a memorial has been erected. An afternoon of heavy showers saw a happy but weary group trudge into Ballaghadreen.  Monday brought sunshine as we left Ballaghadreen and made our way towards Ballinafad, passing through Largan windfarm where we had fantastic views of Ben Bulben, Knocknarea and the Sligo coastline. The lunchtime stop was at Drury's of Lough Gara after which we continued on past Moygara Castle both named for the O'Gara Clan who ruled the area from 1285AD, the present ruined castle dates from the 1500's. Our final stop on Monday as we made our way around the foothills of the Curlew Mountains was provided by the lovely Joanna who invited us to use her garden bench for our tea break and even provided us with homemade muffins! Our arrival into Ballinafad brings us to 632km of the Beara Breifne Way covered to date. Thanks to Mike Moroney, Ailin O'Hara who provided the transport for the weekend and Spelman's Guest House in Ballaghadreen.

Beara Breifne Way
Group on the Beara-Breifne Way over the Easter Weekend, 2016.  16 photos

Saturday May 14th and Sunday May 15th, 2016.

Report by Deirdre Rafter.
Day 23 of the Beara Breifne Way started at Ballinafad on Saturday 14th May in beautiful sunshine. We were collected at the Leitrim Inn Lodge where the group were based for the weekend by Carrick Taxis & Minibus Hire who provided a fantastic service over the weekend, the driver made an unscheduled stop over looking the site of The Battle of the Curlew Pass which took place on the 15th August 1599 between an English force under Sir Conyers Clifford and a rebel Irish force led by Hugh Roe O'Donnell. The English were ambushed and routed while marching through a pass in the Curlew Mountains, near the town of Boyle, in northwestern Ireland. The English forces suffered heavy casualties. Losses by allied Irish forces were not recorded but were probably minimal. A beautiful modern sculpture of a horse overlooks the pass.  The group of 8 Galtee/Ballyhoura Bears walkers were joined by John O'Sulivan from the Galway Walking Club who arrived at the Leitrim Inn Lodge the night before on his Honda Gold Wing, the Beara Breifne Way is on John's bucket list and hopefully he gets to cover the entire route in the future. We set off on the Miner's Way which follows many of the paths used by the miners going to work in the Arigna Mines, The Miners Way links with the Historical Trail which traverses the Curlew, Bricklieve & Arigna Mountains, passing many features of interest including Carrowkeel megalithic tomb. Carrowkeel is one of the 4 most important passage tomb cemetaries in the country and includes 21 individual passage tombs, they were investigated in 1911 by none other than Robert Lloyd Praeger author of "The way that I went" a fantasic read for anyone that is interested in history and geology. We followed an ancient roadway in the early part of the day coming across evidence of mining and many abandoned villages along the way.  Among the highlights of the day were the Labby Rock / Carrickglass Dolmen which is tucked beneath the Ridge of Moytura our highest point of the day, the Labby Rock is a massive portal dolmen with a capstone weighing an estimated 70 tonnes. Our lunchtime break was taken at Heapstown Crossroads following which we were lucky enough to come across a local vintage car run. After a quick stop in Shivan's of Ballyfarnon we continued on to Kilronan Castle previously called Castle Tennison which was the home of Colonel King Tennison & his wife Anne Gore Booth.  Sunday 15th May Day 24 of the Beara Breifne Way saw the group back at Kilronan Castle with another two regulars joining us, we stopped off at Turlough O'Carolan's grave, O'Carolan was born in Nobber Co. Meath in 1670 where his father was a blacksmith the family moved to Ballyfarnon in Roscommon in 1684 where Turlough was blinded by smallpox at the age of 18. Turlough's talents were recognised by his father's employer a Mrs Mac Dermott Roe who became his patron. The route took us around the shores of Lough Meelagh giving us beautiful views of the castle in the distance as well as several boarded up estate houses and ruins of small labourers cottages as we walked through Knockranny Wood. A brief hydration stop on Sunday saw us at Regan's Bogside Inn where Rody Tierney sang one of his own compositions about a dream a young lad had about being the physio for the Tipperary Camogie team which was very entertaining.  Lunchtime saw us in Ardcarne where we had a lovely rest outside Clancy's Pub, parasols included, we thought we were on the Camino. We finished our day's walk with a quick dinner in Beirne's of Battlebridge, highly recommended, beautiful food and a marvellous campsite to consider if you are thinking of doing the Shannon Blueway. We arrived at the ruins of O'Rourkes Castle which was the final part of the walk for O'Sullivan Beara on 14th January 1604, thankfully the Beara Breifne Way does not stop there, we have another 60km to do before we can say we are finished at Blacklion in Cavan, this is scheduled for the first weekend in July and we will celebrate the finish then.

Beara-Breifne Way
Beara-Brei​fne Way on the weekend of May 14th and 15th, 2016.   8 photos


Beara Breifne Way
Beara-Brei​fne Way on the weekend of May 14th and 15th, 2016.  more photos

Saturday July 2nd and Sunday July 3rd, 2016.

Report by Deirdre Rafter.
The last stage of the Beara Breifne Way was covered on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd July.
Saturday morning saw the group meeting at Battlebridge just outside Leitrim Village where we started our 25km walk to Dowra, the route brought us along part of Shannon Blueway for a short while before we turned off the canal at Drumleague Lock following mainly small country lanes to the village of Drumshanbo which takes it's name from Droim Sean Bhoth : Ridge of the old huts and is situated on the lower tip of Lough Allen and overlooked by Sliabh an Iarainn, the Iron Mountain. We took a short break in Olivia D's in the village to shelter from the intermittent heavy showers before taking to the road again where we passed by the old famine graveyard where over 500 people were buried during the Great Famine a sobering experience when you consider that this amounted to half the population of the village at the time. A short detour brought us to St Hugh's Well which due to the water's high iron content is orange in colour, the well is not far from Ballinaglera Village where we visited Rynn's Grocers, Public House and Undertakers this little premises would bring you back the years with it's quaint wooden shelves, the old weighing scales still in use, even the old latch on the door. We had a short break here before making our way to Dowra, made famous during the Garda Nangle incident which made national headlines in the early 80's.  We arrived into the village just as the Mart was finishing where one of our walkers, we won't mention any names, got propositioned by a middle aged bachelor whose mother had broken her hip the night before. He got straight to the point outlining how many acres of road frontage he had, how many head of sheep etc.  It was like a scene from a John B Keane play. The outcome of that proposal is still uncertain!
Sunday morning we had much drier weather which made for a beautiful walk, we were taxied back to Dowra to begin our final trek to Blacklion, this section of the Cavan Way is so tranquil, following beautiful little country laneways and paths in places maybe a couple of feet wide bordered by little stone walls and with lovely views of Cuilcagh Mountain similar in shape to Ben Bulben and Knocknarea, Cuilcagh is the highest point at 665 metres in both Cavan and Fermanagh. Water from it's southern slope flows underground until it reaches the magical Shannon Pot a few miles away, the traditional source of the mighty river. Of course we took a short detour off the trail to visit the Shannon Pot and it was well worth the extra steps.
The walk then took us through the Cavan Burren Park with it's amazing views of both Cuilcagh and Lough Mac Nean,  another short detour brought us to Tullygobbin Wedge Tomb known locally as the giant's grave, folklore tells of two young giants, Lag and Lugh, who both fancied a young female giant, in their efforts to impress her they challenged one another to jump over a wide chasm, Lag in a fit of bravado thought he could jump backwards, but he fell to his death and was supposedly buried here beside the chasm now known as the Giant's Leap. Our final few kilometres saw fabulous views of both lower and upper Lough Mac Nean as we made our way downhill into Blacklion, Co. Cavan. Where better to celebrate this fantastic achievment than to dine with Neven Maguire in Mac Nean House Restaurant, where the man himself was only too happy to hear of our adventures over the last 2 years. Thanks to Gerry's Taxi Service Belcoo Co Fermanagh, Blacklion Holiday Homes where we based ourselves over the weekend, to Maureen Browne who arranged the accomodation and transport, to Mike Moroney who lead the walk and got us to our final destination, to everybody who joined us along the way whether it was for a day or two here and there or more, we have had an absolutely amazing experience.
 
The final stage
Beara-Brei​fne Way on the weekend of July 2nd and 3rd, 2016. The final destination. more photos

1 January 2017

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