Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Mamean to Lake Inagh Lodge

 We left the safety of St. Patrick and headed on down the very wet mountain pass. The loose rocks were hard on my knee and we had to jump lots of puddles and streams of water but the sun was shining and it was an amazing trail. We still had a half day's walk ahead of us. We ended up walking a couple extra kilometres as we kept on going straight at a point in the road where we should have veered least it wasn't raining!

We had mountains to the left of us (the Twelve Bens) and mountains to the right of us (the Maumturks) so is it any wonder we got off on the wrong trail? My eyes were on the mountains instead of the trail! Actually, it was the right trail and we walked it again the next day but it was the wrong trail since we wanted to detour to the Lodge where we were spending the night!!
Our heads were constantly swivelling to the right and the left snapping lots and lots of photos.  The immense beauty left me speechless as all I could say was  "wow, wow, wow....."

Thank goodness the weather gods were with us so we could take photos.  (Note to self - buy a water-proof camera!!) The road between the two mountain ranges was called The Old Stage Road and it wasn't too bad for walking.

 People were far and few between, but sheep were plentiful. I felt as though I was walking in a dream.

 You'd have to be made of pretty sturdy stuff to live in these parts year round depending on the rocky land to support you.

I'm sturdy, but not that sturdy!

Give me a hot shower and central heating, clean socks :) and a pint or two after a day like today!

 It all looks so wonderful, but it wouldn't have been an easy life which might explain all of the empty dwellings.

You can see the road is pretty easy going here.
 The Maumturks were so colourful - I don't know what the vegetation was that created all the various colours - orange, bronze, yellow, pink and red. Glorious.

To the left of us were boggy fields and we got to experience them first hand a little later.

The sheep were right at home.

  That wonderful neon green was everywhere.

We did come across one or two farms that looked as though they were prospering, backed by the colourful Maumturks.

It wasn't too far from here where we should have turned left.

But for now we're doing ok, just following the road between the mountains.
 Lots of peaty coloured streams.

People still burn the free peat (turf).

More peat. Piles and piles of peat!

 We could see some bits of Lake Inagh to our left.

One other farm being worked - I think it was just past here that we went wrong....

 I'd love to know what's growing on these mountains!

 Wow, wow, wow...

We are officially off Stage Road now and following the Western Way trail. We kept looking for the Lodge and walked a good 2-3km hoping upon hope that around the next bend we would see it. No such luck.
 The trail was very mucky and smelly from sheep urine, very unpleasant! We finally had to admit we were on the wrong road. Over to our left past the boggy fields we could see cars on a highway and figured that's where we should be. I didn't want to walk all the way back so we went cross country or bushwhacking as we call it around here. WELL! All I could do was laugh as water from the bogland filled my boots and I went arse over teakettle and landed on my face in the soup!

We went over to a fence so we'd have something to hold onto and slowly and carefully made our way across the fields. Along the way my shirt caught twice on the barbed wire fence making a few holes. Then we met up with a stream, another barrier to get across somehow.
 We followed the stream and eventually it met with the road and a small bridge. We were finally on the right road.

 There's the bridge and Lake Inagh. A  couple were stopped at the side of the road taking photos. I asked the woman if she knew where the lodge was but she must have taken me for a "tramp" with my dirty and ripped clothes as she snapped "NO" and got back in her car!
Around a curve in the road, only a couple hundred metres away we found our lodge! We were ever so thankful!
Lake Inagh Lodge - very civilized! Not a great selection of beer but I managed. The bathroom was huge and had a lovely tub!

Just as we arrived it began to sprinkle. Perfect timing.
 The view from the lodge.

My socks & sock liners after trying to clean them! Letting them dry. Also tried to wash my rain pants in the bath tub without much luck. I brought some of the bog home with me!  I kept the socks but tossed out my ripped shirt. I stuffed my boots with newspaper and then later used the hair dryer to dry them out for the next day.

Thus ended a long day, filled with adventure! More to come!

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