The best laid plans certainly go to waste. We surely learned that today, come to think of it we learned a few new things too. The plan for today’s walk was the third and final stage of out causeway coast challenge. The planned route was from Ballycarton Forest-where we finished the second stage (pretty obvious I hear some of you say). This was an A to B walk so we needed a car at each end. Surprisingly with minus at least two of our regular walkers there were still more than we expected-not often that happens.
So we took the 2 cars over to the finishing point, we were about a mile up the road when we realised that we needed two cars at the finish to bring the numbers back again but one of the other drivers did not have his phone on and the only other person who’s number we knew, did not bring his phone with him.
At one point of the walk we diverted into the forest, our leader said that if we crossed a stream it would mean we could avoid having to climb a few fences, and be easier. The stream crossing was followed by a steep climb.
If only we knew what lay ahead of us…
After a tricky descent we came to another stream, deeper and faster flowing than the previous one. This one looked very tricky/dangerous in crossing and had a very steep and awkward climb on the other side. Only one of us managed to cross. The rest of us after some discussion decided it was too risky. We decided to make our way back to the road-we managed to contact our missing member (James) and decided we would meet up the road a bit. Funny thing was, on our way back to the road we never had to cross the first stream again.
This diversion meant we were running behind time, and we had an idea that we would not make it to our planned final destination. Now this is the strange bit. For some reason we did not park the cars at our planned final destination-we actually parked them 3 or 4 miles from the planned finish.
This was our longest road walk ever-and when in the boots that is not good.
Despite this the weather was magnificent and the views over the sea were great. We had a much welcomed lunch up at the viewing point at Gortmore, beneath the statue of Mananná Mac Lir, the Celtic God of the sea.
We took a shortcut through Downhill forrest. We saw a great waterfall, and I am ashamed to say that this is the first time I have seen it. I have seen pictures of it, and wondered where it was. I have cycled/drove past the road down to it many times-but this was the first time I was actually down at it.
We also saw a house that had four or five pheasants on its roof. This is something we don’t normally see. Being the cynic that I am, I think the owner of the house was rearing the birds for hunters or something.
Despite missing some great off road viewing spots all in it was a good walk. We WILL do this again, the proper way-and with certain missing members too.
Did not get that many pictures this time folks- but they’ll be on flickr soon-by for now