Ireland day 0348. Sunday 11 September 2022- Cooleys

Ireland day 0348. Sunday 11 September 2022- Cooleys
Today’s summary Val and I got a lift up to the Cooleys with a Walking Club friend and we completed one of the Carlingford Loop Walks up Barnavave.   Enjoyable walk despite incessant rain
Today’s weather Poured with rain pretty much all day.   Light southerly wind.   About 16C
Today’s overview location
(The blue mark shows the location of our route)
Close-up location
(The green line shows where we walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Carlingford Barnavave loop DWC

I learned an important lesson on Slieve Donard last month – which is when walking in Irish mountains, always leave a complete change of clothes in the car for when you get back, in case it rains on the walk.    On Donard, it poured down and both Val and I got soaked – though Val less so than me as she has a better jacket.   But neither of us had spare dry clothes on that occasion so we had to sit steaming in the car until we got back to Malahide.

Today, for our Walking Club trip up to the Cooley hills above Carlingford, Val and I went better equipped.   As well as waterproofs, spare fleeces, lunches and all the usual paraphernalia, we also took bags of clothes with us – a complete top-to-toe change.   We were fortunate enough to be able to get a lift from a walking club friend in Portmarnock, so piled all our clobber into their car, then shared the fuel expenses and the chat which all helped the journey up the M1 pass much faster.

We were in Carlingford well before the advertised start time of 11am, so the three of us headed into the rather swish Four Seasons hotel for tea and (you guessed it) scones.   And in case you worry about these things, on my patented rating scale, I’d put them somewhere below the Kingfisher but above Canada.   The rest of the walkers soon turned up and so a large group set out to explore the leprechaun-infested Cooley hills to the west of Carlingford.   We did so just as the heavens opened and an icy deluge, which lasted the whole of the rest of the way, decanted itself down on us.

Our route today took us on one of the Carlingford Loop Walks – the Barnavave loop, to be exact – which Val and I had actually done last October, but in the opposite direction.   It was an enjoyable walk, and I really do like the Cooleys, despite the near 100% track record of poor weather every time we have visited.   Today was no exception, so once we got above about 100m / 300ft, we were enveloped in driving rain and thick mist, so we couldn’t see anything and rapidly got soaked.   Nevertheless we pressed on and eventually made it to the col between Barnavave and Slieve Foy and then on, to the path down to the lost village.

Once in the shelter of some pine trees, we stopped for a brief shivery lunch – the cup of hot coffee from the trusty thermos was most welcome.   But slightly unfortunately one of the group managed by a complete accident to cut their hand on a barbed wire fence as we were having our lunch.   Threse fences really are a menace and I don’t think I know any walker – myself included – who has not had a nasty encounter with one of them in the course of their walking careers.   Anyway, first aid was quickly applied and we were able safely to resume our journey down to Carlingford.

Once back at the cars we were faced with a choice – strip off in the car park and change into our dry things there, or head back to the Four Seasons to avail ourselves of the warm and dry washrooms to get changed.   It was a bit of a no-brainer really, so we headed to the hotel and, having made use of their facilities, we felt duty-bound of course to make our ways to the bar for tea and refreshments before driving back south.

So, what with pouring rain, fog and first aid the day had all the ingredients of a disastrous outing but actually it was thoroughly excellent.   I can’t exactly say why, but everyone survived the elements and exigencies intact and the warm glow of satisfaction once you’re all safely back in the bar and changed into dry clothes really does take some beating.

Now we are back in the flat and as all week we have been promising ourselves a celebratory end-of-day glass of wine, this feels like a good point to sign off and head down to SuperValu for a spot of late-night shopping.   See you tomorrow for the next instalment!


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

The Carlingford Dominican Friary, built in 1305 and dissolved by Henry VIII in 1539.   Thereafter, for a time, it was used as a base by local fisherman Looking back down into Carlingford harbour, before we climbed higher and everything was lost in the mist.
Approaching the high point of the loop walk, on the bealach between Slieve Foy (in the clouds) and Barnavave (behind me) Heading down towards the Lost Village, on the way back down to Carlingford.   The village was probably deserted around the time of the Famine, in the mid-1800s.   We didn’t hang around as everyone (except Val) was pretty much soaked to the skin by this stage.   Val escaped the worst of it thanks to her remarkably excellent Paramo jacket (and no they aren’t paying me to say that).
Homeward bound.   Val and a friend from the club squelching their way back to the car park Japanese anemones, Eriocapitella hupehensis, growing on a wall-top on the outskirts of Carlingford.   Like the fuchsias which grow in abundance in the surrounding areas, they must like the mild damp conditions in this sheltered coastal area
Back down in Carlingford at the end.   The ruinous western gables of the Friary glowering in the rain
Interactive map

(Elevations corrected at  GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )

Total distance: 10212 m
Max elevation: 336 m
Min elevation: 1 m
Total climbing: 444 m
Total descent: -444 m
Total time: 04:31:59
Download file: Carlingford compressed corrected.gpx

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