Comeragh Mountains

comeragh

Today we will do a bit of hill walking as most of us have consumed those extra calories between the Christmas and New Year day 😉 Comeragh Mountains is a good place to start since you have already seen them from the top of beautiful Slievenamon. Here she is, my favorite mountain, as seen from the ascent to the Long Hill of the Comeraghs. First of all we will find the source of peculiar clouds that look so nice in the photographs, so let’s walk towards Slievenamon and have a closer look.

slievenamon

Bulmers! Or Magners, as the product is called outside of Ireland. Famous Irish Cider brewery is situated right next to Slievenamon. It also produces clouds 😦 Just look at the next image.

bulmers

It is not always that bad though, but some days are worse than the others.

bulmers

Dramatic clouds enhance your photographs, but is this steam emission harmless? I don’t know.

comeragh

The Comeraghs are formed by twelve mountains and various hills. They are located between Clonmel, Ballymacarbry, Dungarvan and Rathgormack. The highest point is at 792m ( 2,598 ft). In the photograph below you see the foothills of the Comeraghs from Clonmel side of the mountains. The upper part of the hills is wrapped in a tick cloud.

comeragh

This picture was taken in March. The setting sun colored the tops of the bare trees and made them look like autumn foliage.

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You are standing on the top of Scrouthea Hill – Cnoc a Chomortais. To get there you walked from Clonmel town all the way up, catching your breath and feeling lightheaded. Well, you can also drive most of the way. If it is an August Bank Holiday, another thousand people are walking up the hill beside you, partaking in the annual tradition of The Holy Year Cross Walk. The Holy Year Cross was erected in 1950. The original timber cross was carried by fifteen strong men.

I hope you already recognised the mountain in background 🙂

comeragh

From here you will walk south.  The picture gives impression of a rather flat surface. In fact, the descent and the following ascent are quite steep. All the brown-colored area is infamous Comeragh bog.  It is wet all the year round.

comeragh

In summer, the bog turns purple with the blooming heather.

 

 

Before you continue uphill to the crest of the Long Hill, walk off the main path to visit the abandoned farmstead that used to be a home to the Ireland family.

comeraghs

The Ireland family farmstead is the most tranquil place I have ever visited.  You will spend at least an hour around the farmstead reflecting and meditating, taking photographs and enjoying the beauty and serenity. Only a hiking club party might disturb your peace, but this seldom happens. A lone hiker will more likely wait until you leave, and come down later.

comeragh

comeragh

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After walking through the bog you will appreciate the flat, firm and dry land and silky grass of this oasis.  How sad it is that the family had to desert their home and fields as they had given up the struggle to work the land.

By the way, the Ireland children had to climb the hill to attend the school in Clonmel.

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Leaving the oasis you continue uphill through the bog to the summit of the Long Hill ( just for a spectacular view), keep walking south until you reach Lachtnafrankee mountain, and then a steep ascent takes you to Glenary river valley.

Across the river, there are remains of Glenary village. This was a street with the houses on the riverside and the fields on the hillside.

Glenary

The village mostly consisted of clochans – clusters of houses with a shared entrance and farmyard.

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It is difficult to believe that the last inhabitant left the village in the 1960s. His house had thatched roof and red door. It only took a few decades for the Nature to consume the buildings so that some of them literally disappeared.

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glenary

Glenary with Long Hill and Laghtnafrankee mountain in background.

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gorse

The view from the hillside over the valley. Carey Castle I recently wrote about is in the woods behind the cottage.

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To return to the Cross you climb a steep and muddy track – you will need your Wellies for that. A herd of cattle walk in the deep mud twice a day, which doesn’t improve the surface of the track. This is the view from the top. The Cross is on your left, but it is not visible from here.

comeragh

These photographs are 8-10 years old. I have no time to return to the Glenary Valley, but I visit Carey Castle every year.

It was a long walk but we only covered a tiny part of the mountains.

map

 

I am taking a break, and hope you will be in a good form to continue hiking in the Comeraghs in two weeks from now. Meanwhile, I will repost some of my old stuff from 2014.

inesemjphotography Have a wonderful January!

156 comments

      1. I born and grew up in the Andean Plateau, at 3800 meters of altitude, but everything is more or less flat as it was the bottom of an ancient ocean. Ireland is a dream land to go for so many of us here ^^

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 That was some storm! I remember it was early spring, and I needed a few photographs in b&w, so I went up the mountain, and from there I noticed those dark clouds approaching. In no time everything went black and a hail storm hit hard. I was sitting in the car completely blind. It lasted some 10 minutes. Most of the photographs were taken after the cloud floated away.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this post, Inese, and your lovely photographs. The children of the Ireland family must have been very fit. I walked about a mile to get to school when I was a child but it was all quite flat. I’m amazed at how quickly nature took over that village.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jean! I would say it took them an hour or longer to walk uphill, and it is so very steep that I felt lightheaded at times. But it is an incredibly beautiful and adventurous walk with gorgeous vistas, rhododendron tunnel and rabbit holes on the way. I great place for a kid to grow up.
      When I first saw the farm I thought it was abandoned at least a hundred years ago. Couldn’t believe it happened in the 1960s.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So much beauty to look at in this post, Inese. The scenery is stunning and you have included some wonderful snippets of history. The disappearing village is probably one of many that has disappeared over the centuries. I always think of Wharram Percy in North Yorkshire in this respect – but that was abandoned in the 14th century, if I remember rightly, following the Black Death. As you say, it’s amazing how nature takes over so quickly.
    I love, love, love the song on the video you showed. It’s one of those songs that always make me cry – but then, I’m just an old softie. Perhaps it’s my Irish half reaching out, in this case.
    I’m not sure that the steam from the cider producing factory would be polluting, either. I suppose we’d need to know whether it was just pure steam or not. We have a similar thing with the steam from the cooling towers of all the power stations along the Trent valley. They make plenty of clouds, too.
    As an afterthought, all that walking…! I’m sure you loved it, as would I, but I bet my knees wouldn’t be so happy. It’s always amazing to realise how much walking (and climbing) people did in the past. I’m thinking here of the Ireland children, climbing that hill every day to get to school. No wonder people in those days were so much fitter than we are today.
    I hope you enjoy your break, and I’m sure your reblogs will be great.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Millie. I am glad you like this little piece of history. I love history, and I always find something amazing on your blog. I am taking a little break, probably another week, so I will post a reblog tomorrow.
      I guess the clouds are not that innocent. They definitely contribute to Global warming 😦
      Sorry for your sore knees… I will provide alternative to hiking 🙂 Most of the pictures in my next blogs are taken from the car window 😉
      Have a lovely weekend!

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      1. I agree about the clouds and global warming. As for my knees, they’re just damaged from excessive sports in the past, particularly jogging. They only hurt when I have to climb upwards, especially on steps. A gradual climb isn’t so bad. They ache terribly if they get cold, though. I’m what they call an old cronk, I think. 🙂
        I still have another of your posts to read, so I’ll do that tomorrow. As always, I’m miles behind. Have a great break and enjoy your lovely scenery.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I will drive you across the mountains then 🙂 No jogging! 🙂
          Hopefully I am not offending anyone, but I have to confess that I always thought that jogging is very unhealthy, especially on concrete. I think that brisk walking is great.

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  3. Oh my goodness, Inese! I haven’t looked through all the comments but I am not sure I sent you a message about this gorgeous post full of beautiful views.i treasure the arched trees, the far off spire, the environmental question about white pluming gases (are they safe?) and the dear sheep photographs. The one with mama sheep and baby suckling was especially sweet.
    I adore the way you share all of the beauty in your favourite high places, Inese. ❤ xo

    Liked by 1 person

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