This week’s walk saw us over Binevenagh. Numbers were up –with new faces now becoming regulars and an old face coming back. We had planned to go over to the Sperrins or Donegal way, but snow on high ground proved too risky.
Binevenagh IS pretty local, but it is a favourite. What, with majestic views from low to high ground and a great history to it.
Thanks to a new member of our motley little crew (John) and his trusty ordnance survey map we came across and old stone fort, and I got a few tips in map reading.
There was snow –but not as deep as we expected. At times it was pretty slippy, and proved to be a bit of a challenge to all of us-so a big pat on the back is in order to Mary Lou, this was her first walk with us in at least 2 or 3 years-not only was the walk a challenge, she had to put up with my jokes.
There is a cave up there somewhere-we know where it is, but we have never been up to it-we have made a promise that we will as soon as the weather improves. There is two stories behind this cave. Some people say that it is man made by American soldiers during world war II. The OTHER is that this was used as a hide out by the highway man Cushy Glen. Now Cushy was a real person.He was a famous outlaw,of which there were many in Ireland in the 18th century. Now such people may have been outlaws as far as the authorities were concerned-but by the local people, the whole Robin Hood kind of figures. But not Cushy-he was a thief and a murderer. The road were he did the majority of his crimes is known by locals (to this day) as the Murder Hole Road. Apparently Cushy dumped his victims in hole somewhere over this road. Local authorities have named this road Windyhill Road –ask a local where the Windyhill Road is and we have to think for a few seconds before we realise that it’s the murderhole they are looking for. He was killed during a robbery in 1804, legend has it that his wife did a runner with his hoard. ANY WAY –made by the Yanks* or Cushy Glen’s hide out? I think the latter sounds better and more believable.The ruins of his house is still standing on his area of business.
There is a also a few ruins of old houses/cabins throughout the forest.And I would not be surprised if they were abandoned sooner than we would think.
But as I have said many times up at the top of the climb there is a real good buzz looking down at the ground that you have come up from, the hills of Donegal on the horizon and the light, wow seeing the sun rays coming through the clouds makes it all worth while. The walk was a little bit longer than we thought it would be-but we never actually noticed that until we got back to the cars.
I think this year is our little group’s 10th anniversary. We started as a club but we ditched that title and decided that we were better off as just being a bunch of people that like to get out for a ramble. We’re not a particularly large group, but we like it that way-less work organising and ,well WE like to think, the camaraderie is better. New people are of welcome though. Our AGMs proved to be so much fun we decided to have them on a monthly basis-in one of our local pubs.And we have me some great people during our little meetingsTo be honest-the walks part of these meetings is only about 10% of the chat. This week we made a note of our palned walks for the year-will be interesting to see how much we stick to it-but then plans are for wimps any way.
* To my American readers this term is not an insult/put down. I just thought it had a better sound to it here than “made by the Americans”-ok?