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SWITCH TRACK IN THE MOURNESIt’s like television. If something offends you, don’t look at it. The ghastly butchering of the Glen River track in the Mournes by the Mournes Heritage Trust ….. if you can’t face it, which I can’t, don’t look at it.
… and so other routes and tracks, since many years untrammelled by interruption and untrod or never at all, open creaky doors and welcome you to their sumptious realms.
Such is the boggy and befangled track North-to-South on to Slieve Commedagh. Featureless and in the main, pointless, given your back is to anything worth watching, on to endless heath and … endless more heath.
But stop a few times on Shanlieve, rest your bones and take in the magic behind you that is Dundrum Bay.
This day, sun, the sharpness of shrapnel strafes golden coves from Dundrum to St John’s Point; winter clouds like railway carriages rumble drunkenly above an ancient horizon; and a counterpane of fractured Irish fieldscape cuckoons you in your idle reverie.
Another pull and on to the target – slip East on to the rim of Pulgarve and hug the drop until it shakes you off on its route to the Saddle. Beneath you, the world plummets like a stone and bursts into a sapphire blue tapestry, stitched by Galloway, Cumbria, the Lake District and as if at your fingertips, mystical Ellan Vannin.
On Commedagh’s blank summit, a new horizon starts to open and by the time you are at the wall, you will have most of the Eastern Mournes in the frame.
You could of course go up the MHT’s new track …….
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