Monday, September 10, 2012

A bike ride around Lough Caragh

Wild Glorious Kerry
On Saturday afternoon I went with Margaret to Killarney. She was going to see an open garden and I opted to go for a cycle around Lough Caragh. I set off from outside the town and headed towards Killorglin. The views to the left as you pedal along are truely magnificent. You are looking right into the Hags Glen that is enveloped by the majestic Reeks. The weather was wonderful with warm sun and little breeze and I wasn't in any great hurry so I savoured every mile. The road between Beaufort and Killorglin is pretty level and quiet so the going was easy. Soon I was in the bustling town of Killorglin and the turnoff for Lough Caragh. The road up to now had been level with a good surface but this road is more undulating and has patches that are quite rough. The landscape gets ever wilder as you progress and eventually I found myself looking across wild bogland to the western side of the Reeks.

Looking across Lough Acoose
When you turn again onto the narrow road that runs alongside Lough Caragh things get even better. Now you feel that you are truely on an adventure. Rocky bluffs on one side and the very large blue lake on the other side all adda to the drama. The lake is one of the largest in Kerry and is fully six kilometers long. It is one of the most popular for angling and today there were several boats to bee seen. Surprisingly for a lakeside road there are a couple of stiff hills to negotiate. The last one comes as a particular shock but afterwards there is an exhilerating decent into the woods where the Glencar river enters the lake. Another long gentle pull and you arrive at Lough Acoose sitting under the stunning Coumloughra Coum, topped as it is by the three highest mountains in Ireland. This was a good spot to rest awhile and enjoy a bite to eat. From here I was on the homeward stretch, well a longish stretch at 15 miles,but the first few flew by with a long gentle downhill section. Basically from here I went around the Reeks back to the other side and met Margaret at Kate Kearneys Cottage. It had been my first cycle in quite a while and I was feeling it in the legs after the near forty miles but on a day such as this it was a wonderful experience. I must get out on the bike more.