Sunday, 27 April 2008

Mind The Gap

The birds were singing their hearts out in the trees; the young leaves swaying in the gentle breeze. Didn't know I was a poet, eh? Despite the weather forecast, for light showers, I assembled my hiking gear, threw in a folding seat and a rug, and we headed of in a southerly direction towards the legendary Kingdom of Mourne, one of Ulster's most beautiful spots.

It took about an hour to reach our destination, the Hare's Gap. The last time I'd hiked there was back in 2004. It's relatively easy to find: pass through the village of Dundrum, County Down, and turn right at a junction just outside the village. It's sign-posted for Bryansford, a tiny village where Lord Roden once lived - whose family seat was Tollymore Park.

the car-park at Trassey Road was full; however, someone was just leaving so we nipped in. I donned the old hiking attire and left the Dowager to hold the fort. It took me about forty-five minutes to reach the Gap itself; there's plenty of life in the old dog yet - I overtook a number of folk on the way.

I think the Hare's Gap is a great trek for the novice to the Mournes. Today, it was spectacular at the col itself; wonderful views, a cooling breeze too. There were only about five others there. I didn't linger. After ten minutes, I made my way down again.

I remembered to bring my camera, so the snaps were taken at the top!

I'm really glad I pushed myself to have the hike today, after such a long time. Now I hope to continue hiking from different places in the Mournes. Perhaps the next time it'll be Bloody Bridge or Donard Park - for Slieve Donard.

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