Sunday, August 30, 2015

Saturday Hike in the Mourne Mountains to Newcastle on the Irish Sea

My last full day in the north of Ireland - I drove from the farm to Castleblaney to get online at the golf course with a view, and then met Patrick over in Co Armagh supporting him to take his car in for a check up. Here he stops for some small cattle, heifers per chance on the narrow road, typical for the area.  We picked up his high school friend and teacher Fintan, and then I drove with his direction to a parking lot for our day hike -

Fintan and Patrick, taking off up the trail with water in the midst -- 
Here is the trail, full of water, that we took to head up from the Parking Lot, which was around 500 ft. above sea level

Panorama's taken about 45 min out, Patrick in green, Fintan in red,  heading up to the notch, when we had a sandwich, water and fruit.  Fintan is well prepared as an experienced  hiker! 

 Once over the notch Fintan points along the brandy trail which is mostly level after the climb up toward the "wall"

View of the mountains from the brandy trail to show the tall mountains.

At the wall of granite stone at about 2000' elevation.  All down hill to Newcastle on the sea from here.
 Following "St Patrick", dressed in green,  on the brandy trail toward the "wall".  I was slower on my walk,  looking for shamrocks and the little people- and being a few years older, I am rather methodical in my walking - one step at a time
Patrick and Fintan the young 50 somethings on the way down from the wall. 

A rainbow in the mist, on the trail down to Newcastle.

Flowering gorse (yellow) and two types of heather (purple) on the way down. 

And, here in the moss, I thought this might be the iconic plant, the Irish symbol the shamrock!
And according to Wiki "
A shamrock is a young sprig of clover, used as a symbol of Ireland. Saint Patrick, Ireland's patron saint, is said to have used it as a metaphor for the Christian Holy Trinity.[1] The name shamrock comes from Irish seamróg [ˈʃamˠɾˠoːɡ], which is the diminutive of the Irish word for clover (seamair) and means simply "little clover" or "young clover".[2]
Shamrock usually refers to either the species Trifolium dubium (lesser clover, Irish: seamair bhuí)[3] or Trifolium repens (white clover, Irish: seamair bhán). However, other three-leaved plants—such as Medicago lupulina, Trifolium pratense, and Oxalis acetosella—are sometimes called shamrocks or clovers. The shamrock was traditionally used for its med 

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