Intrepid explorer (don’t be fooled by the beanie)
After days of rain in Kenmare, and snow up country resulting in the daring rescue of a busload of tourists from the Wicklow mountains, this morning was a surprise.
The day was lovely and bright and crispy. Dad and I decided to walk up the Lack Road from the Bridha Valley. Looking north from the Ballaghbeama Gap to the Valley, the Magilicuddy Reeks were framed against a perfect blue sky.
The Magilicuddy Reeks. The mountains frosted with snow are Caher (left) and Cumeenmore (right)
The wind could have scraped the arse off you, but at the pace my father set we warmed up quickly. In short, he walked the arse of me before the wind could get it.
Dad is a menace with a pair of ski poles (although technically, the man doesn’t need a pair of ski poles). I was lucky to escape with both eyeballs. The thrilling accuracy with which he flicked the pole up at the end of a stride cannot be accidental.
At the top of the Lack Road, we had some Nice biscuits and mint crisp. Then we turned east towards Curraghmore Mountain. After slodging through a bog, we scrambled up a jumble of rock towards the cairn marking the summit of Curraghmore.
The route ahead: Curraghmore Mountain is the highest peak in this photo, although admittedly it is more a trick of perspective
Picture by dad; me and Lough Acoose. Dingle Peninsula in the background. Also, my thighs aren’t really that big; it’s the wind, I swear to god, it’s the wind. Husband tell them, please.
Clouds collected and struck poses and looked threatening, but they didn’t venture below peak level. It was like watching a slide show.
Caher seemed but a short uphill sprint to our left, but my father hasn’t been on a walk this technical since his last hip operation and has a keen appreciation of his limits – although, this was not entirely clear as he descended to Curraghmore Lake.
There is no track apart from the odd set of sheep prints, with steep cliffs on either side of the descent. After the recent rain, much of the terrain was boggy and hanging halfheartedly to the underlying rock. Dad has two artificial hips and a fall runs the risk of dislodging one or both. We took it slowly, but every now and then the sound of dad’s ski pole skittering across damp rock made my heart skitter too.
Had he fallen, I was going to tell mum it happened on the Lack Road and dad used his arms to pull himself over to Curraghmore Lake.
Dad features cloud cover
Sunshine threatens Black Valley. Broaghnabinnia’s shadow also features, centre left
Picture by dad: me and Curraghmore Lake
Picture by dad: the reason there are few photos of me
Dad kicks rock
Dusk in the valley
Time to go home