People on the hill seem more interesting or is it that our year-end metabolisms go into stroll mode – and so we pay more attention? Anyway today’s route which I shall commend anon included encounters with much of Eastern Europe, a team of some impressively posh young English people, a top-end rockclimber I have been trying to identify and a Bio detective …dog. A route to commend particularly for walkers wanting to tick off big Mournes summits in a reasonably short time, includes 5 weighty tops over 700ms, being generous with Meelmore and also some magnificent scenery. Start with Donard from Newcastle’s Donard carpark, then to Commedagh, a broad ridge to Hare’s Gap, a juke ‘round the Polaphuca, up Meelmore, up Meelbeag (have you got the map out – go and get it!), a contour back to the col at Meelmore/Bearnagh, up Bearnagh, to Hare’s Gap encore, to the Donard/Commedagh saddle and back home down the Glen River. The Bio dog and its owner, who advised me its remit was to seek out germs, tracked me all the way down the Glen. A carbolic scrub when I got home.
Too many raybands for my sensibilities, cantilevered up from hairless temples; happy, comfortable 40 pluses, she winning the battle against time, he and the biscuits…., not.; gasping adolescents in runners and T-shirts; mellow campers; and low flying private planes. The expensive English, well wow! That accent that sounds like a bog roll with diamonds stuck up the nose hole, a la Zara Phillips – maybe a score of them, early 20s and completely beautiful – pouring like silk down the Brandy Pad: in their stocking soles worth anything from £100m. And the rockclimber – French, 40s, with an NI/Scottish twang, a hatch of small girl children. Any clues mountainviews? Great route. A must do.