Toward the highest mountain in Ireland

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Another from the Ireland stash… this is from our last evening in Killarney before we headed north toward Galway. There is a path just to the right of where I planted my tripod that leads toward the highest mountain in Ireland… Carrauntoohil (3406 ft). Carrauntoohil itself isn’t actually visible in this photograph, and I’m not entirely sure what the correct name for this path is, though I think it is either Lisleibane or Cronin Yard Loop. It was a spectacularly beautiful way to spend time as the early evening shadows stretched across a landscape that is known locally as Hags Glen. Can you imagine what this looks like when everything has greened up?

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Lisleibane, County Kerry

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If there was one complaint I had from this trip it would be that we spent more time in the car than we should have. Don’t get me wrong, we saw a ton of pretty places and enjoyed absolutely spectacular vistas, but in our attempt to see as much as we could, we didn’t get out to walk as often as we would have liked.

After wandering down through the Gap of Dunloe, Sam and I set off to look for the famously beautiful Bridia Valley. Looking at our map, there appeared to be a road that might take us deep into the valley, and from there we were hoping to be able to jump out and stretch our legs. Needless to say our navigation skills let us down again, and we ended up making a long drive that dead-ended with no obvious way to explore much further on foot.

As it was now getting late in the afternoon, we decided to back-track downhill toward Killarney. Despite our latest detour, we were actually quite content with our day’s activities and eagerly anticipating some food and our nightly ritual of a good pint (or two).

On the way down toward Killarney, we saw a sign pointing toward Lisleibane, and an apparent path toward the highest mountain in Ireland, Carrauntoohil. We figured since we were scheduled to leave the Killarney area in the morning, we should grab this chance to explore some more… after all, who knows what we might find.

We obviously didn’t have the time to tackle the big mountain, but we did enjoy a leisurely walk along the early part of the path from Lisleibane toward Carrauntouhil (3,408ft), king of the McGillycuddy’s Reeks. As we started exploring, the sun was already low in the sky but it was still warm on our faces as we walked, talked and marveled at the remarkable view of the Hags Glen and mountains beyond. Though our stay was brief, this pretty walk was just what we needed at the end of our day, and as with many of our wonderful discoveries on this trip, we have stashed them away in the memory bank for the next time we visit.

Someone mentioned a pint… then it was off to Courtney’s, one of the oldest pubs in Killarney. Check out the gallery of photographs they have online… needless to say, after getting settled in beside the fire, we didn’t want to leave!