Coming down the western slopes of Ben Goram.
Continued from Part 3. The final part of our walk on Croagh Patrick and neighbouring Ben Goram. After reaching the summit of Croagh Patrick, we had elected to take the long route down, over Ben Goram, then by road back to the car park in Murrisk. As we prepared to make the drop down from Ben Goram we certainly felt the miles, combined with many meters of ascent and descent. It was a steep drop down and my knees were definitely suffering at this stage.
Looking back over Ben Goram to Croagh Patrick.
A last look at the island studded Clew Bay before we began to lose altitude.
Looking down on Oldhead Beach, with Clare Island out at sea.
Ben Goram towering above us now. The descent was steep and killing my knees, and I would be glad to reach flatter ground at the bottom.
Another cairn on the way down. Not needed today, but these would be useful for navigation when cloud covered the mountains.
An abrupt meeting of fields and agricultural land with wilder mountain terrain.
The gradient got even steeper as we got lower, jarring the knees with each step down. By this time, I had to stop to ease them every 20 paces or so, and progress was slow.
Inishturk, just off the coast.
The slope we had just descended.
With relief we arrived at the bottom, and crossing a field, found a track which took us out on to a minor road. We followed that north to the coastal road which took us east, back to the car park in Murrisk, still several miles away.
The track leading to the minor road.
A pig in a roadside field.
Out on the main road, the sun was beating down, and sore feet from harder ground was now our main source of pain, and in my case, the heavy photography gear and tripod. But, we found the willpower to resist this pub.
It was satisfying however, to look up at the distance and height we had covered.
In the heat, the walk back on the road seemed endless, but at last we made it back to the car park. There were toilets and washrooms there, a shop selling coffee, and picnic benches, and availing of those, along with sandwiches we had left in the car, we soon felt human again. We had just enough energy left to cross the road to see the National Famine Monument, a bronze sculpture by John Behan showing a coffin ship with skeletal figures.
And that was it – a long walk on an iconic mountain done. Now, it was just the long drive back home.