|Name of walk||Pilgrimage Walk from Kilgarvan to Gougane Barra|
|Date of walk||2011-09-25|
Brendan and I flew to Cork in Ireland last Friday to take part in the annual Gougane Sunday Pilgrimage Walk from Kilgarvan in County Kerry across the mountains to Gougane Barra in County Cork, then to the St Finbarr’s church on the lake for a Mass given by the Bishop of Cork.
The meeting point was the lane just below our cottage in Knockanuha at 10am on Sunday. It had been raining all night, and was still pouring down! A great day for a walk! There were 19 of us starting from here.
Steve (in red) leads the walk. The first obstacle was crossing the river via the old footbridge. Brendan gets over. We usually cross by the ford, but it was under two feet of water!
Heading up to the track, Carran behind.
Looking back to our cottage (centre) from the track.
We head straight ahead.
Another view back to the cottage as we head up the side of Carran.
Getting over one of the temporary streams due to the overnight rain.
It had stopped raining but the weather looked like it was about to rain again!
We stop on the top of Carran to wait for everyone to catch up.
T.J. and P.J......both farmers. T.J. is Steve and Maureen`s son, and P.J. is married to Emer, Steve and Maureen`s daughter.
No paths or tracks on the route......lots of bog and very wet ground!
It pours down again, hail stones this time! The mist comes and goes, but Steve knows the way!
We meet up with another group coming up from the Roughty Valley, so we are now 27strong. This year we need to take a longer and higher route in order to cross the River Roughty at its narrowest point. There are no footbridges!
Near the source of the Roughty, and safely all over.
At a break in the mist, looking over at the wind turbines in the Roughty Valley.
We make for the forestry on the right, from there it is less than two miles to Gougane Barra. The terrain is very tough going.
We all assemble on the forest track. Now it is an easy task to reach St. Finbarr`s.
Still need to descend to the valley floor and follow the trail back through the forest park.
St. Finbarr`s is on an island and reached via a small causeway. The church is tiny so the Mass is outdoors.
The Bishop of Cork.
The Oratory. The priests lived in the small cells.
From the causeway looking back the way we had come. Cars are everywhere!
Looking the other direction and even more cars!
We and everyone else head for Cronin`s Bar for a well earned drink and lots of cake! And a few hours of relaxation....and more cake!
The walk was about eight miles and had taken us just under five hours. Longer than usual because of the rain. The route Brendan took last year was just over three hours long as the weather was much better. Thankfully we don`t need to walk back (like they used to!!!) Emer had come in the car to collect us. When we returned Maureen had cooked us all a roast dinner….lovely!