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kernowclimber
2010-11-23 18:43:19
Delectable Donegal
Donegal, a magical corner of Ireland: remote, not on the way to anywhere, a land of wide open spaces and big skies. Friel's Donegal, a place of jagged coastline and treacherous cliffs, shimmering loughs, heathery moors and bogs hemmed in by mountains. Its primitive charm and its wildness have also spawned some of Ireland’s finest musicians. Their languid, ethereal tunes, many sung in the haunting cadence of Gaelic, conjure up images of this timeless land. You don’t just ‘see’ Donegal, you ‘feel’ it.
We set out mid afternoon to climb Mackoght and then Errigal. The air was cold and crisp atop Mackoght. Mist drifted periodically up over the shattered scree covered NE face of Errigal which looked virtually unassailable from this angle. Joining the tourist path we quickly attained the summit to feast our eyes upon sublime 360 degree views. The setting sun cast a pool of rosy light upon the scalloped face of Aghla More and the loughs of Dunlewy and Nacung blushed pink. On descent the full moon rose and stars began to wink in the firmament. The moonlight reflected off the bog pools like shattered shards of a giant’s mirror and was so bright it was possible to see without torches.
After booking in at Errigal Hostel, we headed for Tábhairne Leo with its colourful clientele. One wore apparel like that of a Puritan preacher complete with broad rimmed black hat; another sported peacock feathers in her 1920’s hairdo. The place was packed to the rafters as the musicians struck up, the rhythmic beat of the bodhrán contrasting with the plaintive, mellow notes of the flute. ‘Níl sé ina lá’ sang the band, ‘níl sé ina lá is ní bheidh go maidin’, as my mind began to wander. ‘De ye know ‘Tuoer-kee?’ enquired a woman at our table. Smiling banally, I wondered what on earth ‘Turkey’ had to do with me being from Cornwall... the Guinness began to flow more freely. Knowing we wouldn’t have made it ‘til the morning we quietly slipped away following the draw of a raffle in aid of Donegal Mountain Rescue.
The land steamed as the morning sun gently released it from the icy grip of the night. There’s something about the quality of the light in Donegal - a translucence that enlivens the russet heather, green mosses and warm bands of coloured rock in the cliffs of Slieve League, exposed and polished by the storms of countless ages, and contrasts with the deep blue of the sea and sky. The cliffs truncated by ice and ocean are stupendous, the sea so far below the waves appear silent. On a perfect autumn afternoon we took the cliff path, scrambling the airy arête at Kerringear and One Man’s Pass to the summit. Panoramic views unfolded: Benbulben, Nephin, Achill Island, and even distant Croagh Patrick. Inland a sea of mountain-tops receded in tumultuous waves as far as the rounded head of Slieve Snaght and the cone of Errigal. We completed our circular walk via the Pilgrim’s Path to Bunglass as night fell and the moonlight shimmered over this enchanting landscape.


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Summit Comment
Roaninish: Roan Inish
IainMiller less than an hour ago.
Roan Inish (Roaninish) is a low lying storm lashed small archipelago comprising five main islands and a large collection of tidal skerries. The islands are reasonably remote being 4 KM from the ne...

  
Summit Comment
Inishbarnog: Roan Inish
IainMiller less than an hour ago.
Roan Inish (Roaninish) is a low lying storm lashed small archipelago comprising five main islands and a large collection of tidal skerries. The islands are reasonably remote being 4 KM from the ne...

  
Summit Comment
An Bhuidéal: Climbing An Bhuideal
IainMiller less than an hour ago.
An Bhuideal (The Bottle) is an iconic 50 metre high twin headed sea stack living 300 meters out to sea at the base of 250 meter high sea cliffs. Its remote location and close proximity to the sker...

Summit Comment
Dún Briste: Climbing dun Briste
IainMiller an hour ago.
The first ascent by rock climbers was in May 1990 by three UK climbers who climbed a groove system up the north facing seaward face of the stack. The stack then waited 26 years for another ascent ...

  
User profile
IainMiller
IainMiller an hour ago.
A rock climber, hillwalker and guidebook author living, working and playing on the sea cliffs, sea stacks, mountain ranges and uninhabited islands of County Donegal. http://uniqueascent.ie/sea_sta...

  
Forum: General
Enjoy your trip
BleckCra a week ago.
The first flurry of snow here in Armagh. A biting wind. Antenna whiskers taste the chill air and the prospect of picture postcard winter days. In no time at all, the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue will...

Summit Comment
Tomies Mountain: Light on Tomies and Purple
davsheen 4 days ago.
Tomies and Purple in the Light from Muckross

  
Summit Comment
Derrygarriff: Free as a bird
Colin Murphy a week ago.
We were lucky to see a white tailed eagle gliding gracefully over Eirk Lough before before coming to rest on a rock, which provided the opportunity to capture a pic of the rarely seen bird of prey...

  
Track
The Beara-Breifne Way Day7
mlmoroneybb a week ago.
On Sunday, we were not attacked by the MacCarthys of Drishane Castle but started our walk on the O?Keefe Booning Castl walk, Len: 27.7km, Climb: 362m, Area: Paps/Derrynasaggart (Ireland)

Summit Comment
An Cnoc Fada: The majesty of the Poisoned Glen in the snow
mcrtchly 4 days ago.
A snowy day gives a different perspective on the Poisoned Glen and Crockfadda. This photo was taken with a 500mm lens at a distance of 1.5km from the Scared Heart Church and 8km from the the Poiso...

  
Summit Comment
Foardal: Beyond a shadow of a doubt
Colin Murphy a week ago.
The French writer Maupassant used to say he had lunch in the Eiffel Tower every day because it was the only place in Paris that he couldn't see the thing. A similar view might be taken of Foardal,...

  
Forum: General
Hillocks
BleckCra a week ago.
Simon. Himself is the well known to some, Bernard Hill. Less well known of course are hills to do with ants, except to some. Keep er lit though. At least some sort of discussion and of course only...


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