Carlingford...in the mist
Our rendezvous point was the parking at Bremore Castle, 9 am sharp.
Everyone was ready and raring to go, so go we did. Thank you to Natalia and Alex H for helping us out with lifts! Thank you Mark H for joining us on this activity!
Less than an hour later we arrived at Carlingford town. We buddied up and let one of our scouts start us off following our map to get us going. We rotated this role the whole way through the hike, letting the buddied teams lead the way along the hike.
I don't know if you have ever climbed/hiked around Slieve Foy, but the initial ascent is quite steep, so we had to make a few stops just to take layers off, rehydrate and just to get our breath!
and the climbing continued
Unfortunately the views weren't available to us this weekend, despite the sun splitting the trees in Balbriggan and Drogheda, but for us it was forecast with rain and 12 degrees. It looked like the mist would burn off but unfortunately it wasn't to be. That being said, it was actually quite helpful to us in that the cooler temperature was great to keep us cool, and the rain didn't materialise.
After we took a 15- 20 min lunch break (in between loads of water breaks), we pushed along as we had reached the highest part of the hike, we were now walking along the ridge below Slieve Foy. To recap we started off from the town using the green route, then a bit of cross country whereby we would join up with the red route (along the ridge) and then start our descent again following the red route (the Barnavave Loop).
We passed through a Leprechaun Specially Protected Area , perhaps because of the mist we didn't see any, but may be next time!
What goes up must come down, and the descent was now upon us. It's quite a steep descent, but a very interesting one, plenty of things to distract everyone from the aching knees and joints. There's the pre famine village with an outdoor dog/pet shelter (see if you can find it if you ever end up here). For the geocachers (and we have some scouts that are getting into it - the cache in the famine village doesn't seem to be there any more - just in case you go looking).
All throughout the hike we were monitored by the local wildlife, aka sheep and calves.. These ladies thought we were going to feed them and ran beside us as we walked past their field!
We had made our way off the mountain and started our way back to the town. This was mostly flat level ground so the walking was a lot easier.
We were on the last stretch...I promise!
We managed to squeeze in a bit of geocaching for our scouts that have a keen interest in it, and they managed to log their first cache!! Well done Alex!
We finally got back to Carlingford town. Despite the mist the scouts enjoyed themselves. They came well prepared both gear wise and food wise. There was a great sense of team work as in parts it was quite tough due to the incline, but nothing too impossible but there were several occasions were they motivated each other.
We finished off the day with well deserved bags of chips and then headed back home for a well earned rest.
Saw this fella on the way back down, he had the right idea!
Now because the mist got in the way of the view, here are a couple of pictures I took the previous weekend on the recce..