After my trip to beautiful Brandon a couple of weeks ago I opted last week to head back to the Iveragh Peninsula and on this trip to sample once again the delights of The Reeks and also to try and get a dip in the sea. The weather was fine so I decided to do the Coomloughra Horseshoe and head further west to one of my favourite campsites Mannix Point in Caherciveen that evening.
|Some scrambling to be had up at the ridge|
Next up came the beautiful wild drive over the spectacular Bealach Oshin as far as Caherciveen. I really enjoyed the scenery all the way back and despite it being high season I met very few cars en route until I joined the busy ring of Kerry just outside the town. I drove the five or so kilometres as far as the blue flag Whitestrand beach and enjoyed a nice long soak in the sea. It is a lovely beach with very little in the way of waves so it is excellent for those that like to swim rather than splash around. Once my lust for the sea was sated I drove back into town and went to the very very busy campsite. I feared that they wouldn't have any places available but they managed to find a spot. It is in a beautiful place, right down by the waters edge and at high tide it is very easy to enjoy a swim right by the tent. I enjoyed a relaxing evening and rested up for tomorrows outing.
An early start saw me arrive at the little carpark at the base of Cnoc na d'Tobar at 08.15. I was just after a short outing as I had to be at work for 7pm and I had a few bits to do at home before that. Cnoc na dTobar is one of Ireland's pilgrim mountains. Though not as well known as the likes of Croagh Patrick it does attract a few religious types throughout the year. It is mostly just tourists that climb it though and it has a good well marked track that wends its way gently up the mountain. At 690 metres and basically starting at sea level it is a worth while (if not too taxing) trek and soon I warm and moving well. I cut across some of the zig zags and once I was up two thirds of the way I made a direct line for the elegant ridge that drops southwesterly from the summit and continued up on that. The clear skies of yesterday were missing and today was more leaden and cloud flirted with the summit. A stiff breeze was blowing as well so it didn't feel particularly warm. Nevertheless the views were beautiful. The island of Valentia and all the surrounding seascapes and mountains make this a magical place. Easy it might be but it pays off big time in views. A series of crosses run the length of the route and the granddaddy of them all lords it over the summit. A crudely constructed 15 foot edifice looks over the town far below and here once a year mass is said. I wasn't in a praying mood so I turned and headed across the stony ground towards the north top and enjoyed the views across to the Dingle Peninsula and the blue sea just below. I followed the broad spur easily all the way back down to the shore just to the north of the pier and cove. Here there is a small stony beach that is hidden from view so I stripped everything off and went of another soak in the calm waters. Suitably refreshed I returned along the delightful super colourful lane as far as my car and I was heading for home not long after 11am. It was a short but delightful outing.
|Wonderful views back|
|No spirit levels used here|
|The way down|
|Skinny dipping heaven|
|If you have to walk along a road it might as well be one a beautiful as this/|