Rambler's Sea Walks
By Mary Kyne
Agnes and Michael Mc Evilly lead this loop-walk starting at Renvyle House Hotel former home of poet, statesman and surgeon Oliver St John Gogarty. The landscape, beach and strange haunting light and sunsets of this magical place has inspired writers and artists and draws them and the Corrib Ramblers back time and time again.
Betty Clancy’s favourite walk takes the walkers up a winding path that leads us along Killary Harbour fjord, Ireland’s only fjord. Along the walk we are treated to unrivalled views of spectacular beauty stretching across the inlet to the Mayo Mountains. The beauty of this walk is its remoteness and wilderness. Betty has also introduced us to the delights of Kilkerrin Bay.
Roundstone and Mannin Bay
There are three beaches in this area – one more beautiful than the other. Here you will experience the bracing winds of the wild Atlantic. They are great places to shake of the ‘blues’ and experience the Lord’s awesome creation of sea, sky, mountain and land.
Mac Dara Island Carna
On the Feast day of Mac Dara, 26th July the fishermen of Carna row visitors to the island. This is an annual pilgrimage. Mass is celebrated in thanksgiving for a rich sea harvest and the safety of the local fishermen. The crowds attending this event have increased over the years and in the interest of safety Mass was celebrated on the shore in the past two years. The Ramblers were fortunate to have experienced this unique event in the past as after Mass we swam in the refreshing waters surrounded by a mass of seaweed.
Sr. Mary Collins invited the group to walk around the shores of Cleggan and visit OmeyIsland. Omey is a charming isolated island perched amid the ocean waves and a delight to visit. We ramble over the sand dunes, visit the monastic site and ancient graveyard situated on a hill over looking a wide expanse of sandy beaches. When the tide ebbs one can cross or drive across the beach to the island. Nature affords us 6hours to explore the island before the tide turns and covers the beach again. We often finish up in Mary’s home for soup and sandwiches after an exhilarating walk along the long stretch of beach.
Rosmuc – Hans and Aedamara’s Cottage
Why do you think that there is always a big turn out on the day we visit Pearse’s Cottage and take a walk over looking the sea? While we have a great interest in the heroic deeds of Padraic Pearse – he is not the main attraction on our visit to Rosmuc. In fact Hans and Aedamara’s hospitality, convivial company, good coffee and delicious Belgian chocolates woo us – we are like pampered little children. Hans and Aedamara feed us and then presents us with bunches of hydrangea and clippings from their cottage garden. Roll on the next visit. Míle buíochas.
“Slabs mock marked and fleeced with moss,
The limestone furrowed with all the flesh eaten off,
The soft parts from raindrops dripping”
Grotto by the Lough
The summer walks would not be complete without Una Fleming’s walks in the Burren, Co. Clare. The bare and craggy limestone is a rare and special landscape. It is a landscape of bare rock and practically waterless terrain, fissures and crevices harbouring an abundant and varied flora from Alpine to Mediterranean plants. This is what makes this such a unique place. As the evening light fades over the landscape we enjoy refreshments before returning home. We have visited Corcomroe Abbey and in the future we must explore more of the built heritage of the Burren.
Una has a profound knowledge of the flora, fauna and birds of this special place which adds to our enjoyment. We can identify mountain avens, orchids, bloody cranesbell, trift, dogrose etc.
Mary Joyce leads the walk starting at Camus church. It over looks mountains, lakes and the sea shore. Along the way we pass many restored Irish cottages as as well as many well preserved farmsteads. At the end of the walk we often stop to have tea and fresh scones in a family tea house. It is a long walk.
The walk is dear to our hearts as John O’Donohue lived here. He got inspiration for his famous literary works from the Connemara landscape.
After a hard climb
Through a dry river-bed,
Its scoured stones glistening
Like a white chain to the horizon,
Descending between its links
The long concerto of a stream
Where the listening mountains incline,
Rising against the steep fall of soft bog.
Searching for our grip
In the shimmer of scree.
At last on the summit
Of the Beanna Beola,
Overlooking three valleys,
Delighted to be so high
Above the lives where we dwell,
Together for a while
From other sides of the world,
Sensing each other
Strangely close, where few reach.
Suddenly, your voice
Calling out my name.
I call yours.
The echoes take us
To the heart of the mountains.
When the silences closes,
You say: Now that they
Have called our names back
The mountains can
Never forget us.
There are several walks in this area overlooking Lough Corrib. An Sean Bhóthair between Cornamona and Clonbur skirts along the foothill of MountGable over looking Lough Corrib.
The walk to the end of DoorusPeninsula is a sheltered walk suitable for winter rambles. Drumsnauv – an award winning Golden Mile is also sheltered by woods and hills. It too leads us to the shore of Lough Corrib looking across at Oughterard. A hot mug of hot chocolate is welcome at O Malley’s or Joe Keane’s Maam.
Angie Mc Donagh, Marie Conneely and Una O Halloran take charge of the walks in the city.
Walk 1 From Westside shopping centre via Circular Road over looking the city, through Daingean, along by MenloCastle, NUIG grounds, the canal, Domnick St. and finally winding our way through Shantalla. It is a terrific walk of a Sunday morning. Yes we do have coffee and lunch along the way.
Walk 2: Mutton Island: We commence this walk at the Aquarium car park. We walk along the Prom to MuttonIsland and continue to the Claddagh. We often return along the Prom aand walk as far as Blackrock, past the Golf Club and return via the Prom to the Aquarium. This walk is the most famous and frequented walk in Galway.
Over the years Marie Conneely, Mary and Vincent Walsh, Una O Halloran and Kathleen Ellis led the walks in and around Moycullen. We went up mountain roads, through charming villages, over bogs and up into open wild untouched landscape – places of awesome beauty and blissful peace. What more can one ask for?
I realised when I began to recall our walks over the past number of years that we truly have covered many a mile in our travels.
“I knew the stars, the flowers, and the birds,
The grey and wintry sides of many glens,
And did but half remember human words,
In converse with the mountains, moors and fens.”
Prelude of J. M Synge
Una has taken us to Seannaféistín, Corraduff, Rinaroon: Christina to Porridge town and Maghera: Mary to Glengowla, Leam, Rusheeny, Lettercraff: Marie Helena to Derraroua: Barbara Mc Sharry. Ann Gallen and Betty Clancy have introduced us to new walks over the years. We try every year to explore new walks and add them to our list.
Lough Corrib/ Inchagoill Island
During the Mayfly season we take a boat trip from Oughterard Pier to the island of Inchagoill. We take a loop walk around this historical island. We visit the 12th and 5th century churches, the 5th century standing stone of Lugna and the Guinness tea house. We light a fire, boil the kettle and have lunch while waiting for David Luskin our navigator to return from Ashford .
We enjoy each others company. We share stories, news, discuss the problems of the day, listen to our friends problems or worries – conversation is always stimulating never dull. Of course we engage in the joys and celebrations of our fellow ramblers. We hope to continue to meet every Sunday morning at 10.30 in the car park.
“Got no time for spreading roots,
The time has come to be gone.
And to our health we drank a thousand times,
It’s time to Ramble On….”
Ramble On Led Zeppelin