Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Just a Walk in the Park
I went out with Les for a quick walk around Glenariff today, no route planned this time we arranged to meet at the lower car park with the intention of leaving a car there and driving to a different start point.
It was an earlier than usual start but we both had other stuff to attend to so an earlyish start and a shorter than normal walk meant we'd be finished around lunch time. The weather has improved over the past few days and although there were a few clouds around it was warm when the sun did break through. At 1st we stuck to the forest trails just outside the actual park boundry but left the trail and took to the fire breaks to reach a small lough Les had been to recently. It's one I've passed close to often but I'd never actually taken the time to check it out but approaching from the North looks like the best option as the trees open out to reveal it before closing again behind so it looks like a hidden oasis.
Rather than aiming for the higher ground after leaving the lough we headed for a forest track that led us out on to the open hill from where we headed towards one of the waterfalls in the park. Rather than stop by the side of the trail or take to the forest for a lunch break we boulder hopped down the stream until we reached a steep waterfall were we stopped for a cuppa.
I'd gone back to a plastic mug some time ago in preference to a (heavier) titanium mug but had recently considered a Kupilka Kuksa. Heavier than a plastic mug the composite Kupilka does look nice with a traditional feel. In the end I didn't go for the Kupilka as although it's traditional in Scandanavia it isn't in the UK, what I decided to go for was an old type enamel mug, white with a blue rim. I know some people say the enamel can crack and so on but as I've used a beercan pot in the past I'm sure I'll be able to take care of a tin mug. I hadn't used it until today but I think it's nicer to drink from than a ti or plastic mug and in Les's case an improvement on using the lid off the cooking pot but at 125g or thereabouts it's outrageously heavy ;-)
We ended up going back to the trail for a couple of reason's, one we couldn't easily circumvent the waterfall but more importantly there are areas of the forest closed. Some of the Larch, Japanese hybrids IIRC have become infected by Phytophthora Ramorum and in an attempt to stop it spreading they're being felled and soit's better to stick to the trail where the warning notices have been posted.
As we made our way along the top trail the areas where trees were being felled could be seen on the other side of the glen although there were no signs that the disease had spread to the side we were on. While on the top path we could see Troatan being hit with a few rain showers and within minutes we too were hit with a short but quite heavy shower although that was the only rain we'd had all day.
All in all it was a pleasant day even if the route was only around 10k but although I'm back at work tomorrow I'm already looking forward to finishing my shift and getting out again. Hopefully the weather will improve now coming into June as I'd like to give the hammock a try out.