One Day Walks August 13 thru 15

If you would like to join my guided walks next weekend, but not avail of the B&B and dinner choice, you can simply join our small group as a day walker. Here’s the programme.

Friday August 13 –

Meet at 10 am at the carpark in An Ceathrú Thaidhg for the 3 to 4 hr cliff-top loop. (€20)

And / or

Meet at 3 pm at the car park at Glenlara, on the north end of The Mullet, for the 2 to 2 1/2 hr Erris Head cliff-top loop. (€10)

Take part in both Friday walks for € 20 total.

Saturday August 14 –

Meet at Blacksod pier at 10 am for a boat trip out to and guided walk of Iniskea Island. Pier to pier, this will take 5 to 6 hours. (€ 40)

Sunday August 15 –

Meet at 10 am at Tobar Deirbhile (well) at Falmore at the southern tip of The Mullet peninsula, for a 4 hr loop walk, taking in Glosh, Caisleán beach and Aughleam. (€ 20)

For further details and to book your place, please call 086-8318748.

Dates Change – Western Ocean Walking Weekend

Please note the slight change in dates for my next Western Ocean Walking Weekend.

The dates are now from Thursday, August 12, thru Sunday, August 15. Come and enjoy a great weekend of walking on cliff-top walks (much higher than the Cliffs of Moher, by the way), on a stunning once-inhabited island and on lovely beaches and low-lying hills on perhaps Ireland’s most interesting peninsula, The Mullet of NW Mayo.

You can be picked up from and dropped back to Castlebar train station.

Interesting Observations in Nature

Being out and about walking really gives you the chance to observe some interesting things in nature. There is a whole world out there that you may not be aware of and which, if you are willing to dedicate some of your time, can be observed. 

As a rule of thumb, if you want to actually observe nature, as opposed to simply traversing it, spend at least 50% more time doing a walk than the ‘guideline’ completion time. So if you’re on a, say, 3 hour loop walk, take it easy and aim to complete in, maybe, 4 1/2 hours. 

Mother Red Squirrel and Baby 

A while back, in south Mayo, I was unbelievably lucky enough to witness a mother Red Squirrel carrying her young in her mouth. As she was on her way, presumably moving her young from one safe spot to another, she came across me on a forest track. I was crouched down, having heard her approaching through the fern undergrowth. We mutually observed one another for over a minute, until she continued across the track and on her way through the thick vegetation. I decided not to try to pull out the camera, afraid I might spook her. 

Sheep and Fox 

Look at the photos below. I came across this scene near a cliff top in north Mayo. Given that I approached from down wind, the fox did not seem to notice me for several minutes. This beautiful hunter was 2 metres away from the sheep in the picture, with an additional 3 sheep, including one lamb, no more than a further 2 metres away, just out of shot. Eventually, I needed to continue on and was the first to make a move. The sheep and fox then scampered away, but the former didn’t seem in the slightest bothered by the latter’s proximity. 

 

Dead Shrew 

I found the unfortunate dead Pygmy Shrew, below, the other day. Shrews are absolutely tiny, aren’t they ? 

Pygmy Shrew

Pygmy Shrew

  

  

  

 

 

 

Cuckoo 

This year I seem to have heard healthy numbers of Cuckoo. But just last weekend, I saw not one, but two of these difficult to spot birds from Africa. Both were observed on telephone wires, both above bogs next to plantation forests, both during the early afternoon on quite warm days, both in NW Mayo, but in different spots.

A Great Weekend in West Mayo

Last weekend was excellent fun. I led guided walks on The Mullet on Saturday and Sunday, treated myself to the Ceathrú Thaidgh cliff-top walk on Sunday and completed the wonderful Glendahurk Horseshoe in the Nephin Begs on Monday.

You’d never know, but the fabulous weather we’ve been having to date might just as quickly come to a shuddering halt in an Irish summer, so better to take full advantage while it’s going !

Floral highlights of the weekend included the many orchids now in bloom, the strange Ragged Robin, St. Patrick’s Cabbage at 700 m altitude and the stunningly beautiful Common Mallow.

Fauna of the weekend included one Fox, several Hares, fantastically aerobatic Ravens and one solitary Golden Plover. Unfortunately, no Seals were spotted at Erris Head, but you can’t always be lucky.

Erris Head – A guided walk of Erris Head (with another guide, not me) takes place, as part of Féile Erris Beo, on Sunday, June 20th. Contact Erris Tourism, on 097 – 82292.

Ceathrú Thaidgh – I will guide a walk of this cliff-top trail, also as part of Féile Erris Beo, on Thursday, June 17th, beginning at 6 pm. Again, call Erris Tourism, on 097 – 82292.

The Colour of Erris

This is a really wonderful time of year. There are so many flowers in bloom right now and the weather this year is ridiculously good. Too good, perhaps.

Among the places I found myself this week was a plantation forest in Erris, where, honestly, you could easily think you were in southern France. The ground is so dry and the brown leaves underfoot make so much noise when stood on, you’d nearly expect a snake to wander across the track at some point.

But apart from there, I was also on coastal grassland, where I took the pictures below. While I could get the photos of the still flowers, the same could not be said of the six magnificent Irish Hares I saw, or the various birds, including Wheatear, Ringed Plover, Fulmar, Cormorant, Great Black Backed Gull, Skylark, Twite, etc.

10HD – A Full Day Out in West Mayo

Just four weeks to go to a lovely Ten Hour Day out in wild west Mayo.

Join us at Newport on Saturday June 26th for a 90-minutes cycle into the hills, then a 6-hour hike up Nephin Beg mountain, then a 90-minute cycle back to Newport. This is NOT a race. This is NOT a competitive event. It’s a day out in fabulous country, with great views over lakes, mountains, bog and out to the coast, with Achill, Blacksod and the Reek in the distance.

If you like your outdoors, take a look at the event poster, by clicking below, to learn more.

10HD poster

10HD – Mayo Outdoors Event

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10HD is an active day out, combining cycling and walking, pencilled in for Saturday, June 26.

Based out of the lovely little village of Newport, west County Mayo, 10HD will have you on a bicycle or your feet for the whole day – more or less 10 hours.

10HD is most definitely not a race.

This is a relaxed event to see some of the wonderful views Mayo has to offer. Get on your bike in Newport and ramble towards the Nephin Beg mountains, which stretch out above the northern shore of Clew Bay. Take in Loughs Furnace and Feeagh. After around 90 minutes, dismount and hike part of The Bangor Trail, surely Ireland’s most isolated waymarked walking trail. Then hill walk up Nephin Beag itself, at 627 m, to get great views out over the vast blanket bogs and scenic coastline of North Mayo, towards Croagh Patrick, Clew Bay, Achill Island, Blacksod Bay, The Mullet peninsula and the Iniskea Islands beyond (extent of views is weather and visibility dependant).

10HD comprises approx. 90 minutes on the bike, followed by 6 hours hiking, followed by another 90 minutes return to Newport via a different route on the bike, with breaks along the way.

The cost of this10 Hour Day active day out is Euro 50 each and the number of places is strictly limited. Packed lunch, bike hire and full guiding throughout are included. We leave Newport at 9 am sharp and will be back at around 7 pm. Newport offers various accommodation alternatives, should you wish to overnight.