Dominion and de minnows.
Out of the wind, with Hare’s Gap gate behind us and scanning right to left, a circle of mountains play ring-a-rosies on the horizon. Bearnagh’s north and south tors, Ben Crom, Binnian, Lamagan, Cove, Beag, Donard in the backdrop, Commedagh, until finally, the Brandy Pad track leads the eye back to our position. Translated from their Irish, the gathering read like a tribe of Red Indian warriors, Gapped Mountain, Mountain of the Curved Peak, Mountain of the Small Peak, Creepy (Crawly) Mountain, Little Mountain, Mountain of the Holy One, Domhangart, Watching (Guarding) Mountain, Rugged Mountain, and Mountain of the Stones. Some, like Bearnagh equipped with a tomahawk or two. Apart from the wind there is not a sound to be heard. Directly opposite us, we glimpse the Ben Crom Reservoir well bedded down. Skinny, shimmering streams mimic snail tracks crossing the glen from mountains to lake, to drown in a pool as dark and sad as a saucer of Guinness. Out of nowhere, two voices approach down wind of us, their accompanying beings young, athletic, still illusioned, bounding past us with that amiable nod of the very young to the been there, up the steps, goat like they go, left of the crag. I smiled consolatory, at my partner’s back. As we stood to go, we heard a cry as one of their party lost a footing. We wait for the next sound, which is a peal of laughter as one or other of the two must have come to an amusing landing. Ten minutes later we spot the pair slowly edging their way upward, not a word now wasted on their efforts. Sugared up, (one of us just a tad too snug after the event), we head, eastwards, off to the left, and across the Brandy Pad.