Great Blasket, there's more than peak bagging...
An intrepid bunch of mountainviews.ie members recently journeyed out amongst the Blasket archipeligo, and included a summiting visit to The Great Blasket.
As I wasn’t one of the group, and as Great Blasket can be readily accessed by regular ferry services, I didn’t make the case for this route which I think is a rare gem.
After sailing out to the island and perhaps wandering through the remains of the village and all it’s historical echoes, hill walkers will likely want to head up by one of the green roads to the summit of Croaghmore. Be assured though that this is merely the literal “High Point” of The Great Blasket and that there is a further adventure to be had.
From Croaghmore summit, the view toward an Ceann Dubh at the SW tip of the island is not very revealing. Persist though and you will travel through a wonderful landscape!
Passing a ring fort you will come to a narrow rocky spine, the rocks covered in luxuriant grey-green filigree lichens. All around are the other Blaskets, Inishvickillane, Inishnabro, the pyramidal profile of Tearaght and “The Sleeping Giant”, Inishtooskert. This eventually leads down to a steep drop to the sea, an Ceann Dubh. It’s possible to clamber down over more lichen covered boulders, almost to the water.
If you go there on a day of blue skies and calm seas such as I enjoyed, with not another soul around, “…truly this day you shall be in paradise..” to mangle the biblical quote. It’s magnificent, like a trip through the islands of the Aegean. It’s also a respectable hike, being around 15km with 700 or 800m of ascent!
I’ve got a few short segments of video which give some idea of the place. I must put them together and post them on Youtube, Vimeo or whatever.