Walking back out from the Beenkeragh Ridge alongside Coomloughra Lough.
I’d had a fantastic day’s walking on the Coomloughra Horseshoe, even though I hadn’t been able to fully complete it due to dangerously high winds. Starting out from the car park near the start of the Hydro Track, I’d taken a route over Cnoc Iochtair, Skregmore, Stumpa Barr na hAbhann, Beenkeragh and The Bones Peak. I’d turned at the Bones Peak and took a steep route down off the ridge to walk out slightly above Lough Eagher, Coomloughra Lough and Lough Eighter. I was glad it remained dry as the steep, grassy slope coming down from the ridge could have been slippery and dangerous otherwise. As I reached lower, flatter ground it did start to rain, and I didn’t get many photos until I had almost passed Coomloughra Lough. I did manage to shield the camera for a few shots of lichen patterns on some of the purple sandstone rocks on the slopes.
It soon began to clear up again and I was able to get some wider shots alongside the loughs.
Approaching Lough Eighter, also known as Lough Iochtair.
Blue sky beginning to appear.
At the end of Lough Eighter, about to rejoin the Hydro Track.
After coming down the steep side of the Beenkeragh Ridge, I found I was having a very easy, pleasant walk back to my starting point. Even on the open hillside, conditions were dry underfoot, and there was no high vegetation to battle through. Once I passed the end of Lough Eighter, things would get even easier as I was back on the Hydro Track that would take me all the way back to the car park. I also found myself walking in increasingly pleasant sunshine, which was unseasonably warm for October, and the wind was much less strong at this lower altitude.
Increasingly sunny as I started off down the Hydro Track.
The track takes a sharp turn northwards here, through the gate.
Looking down on Lough Acoose.
The slopes of Cnoc Iochtair coming in on the right, with Skregbeg behind.
The mountainous Dingle Peninsula in the distance, constantly drew the eye on this section of the Hydro Track.
The closer views were also stunning, towards Knocknabrone Hill (or Derryfanga) and Lough Nanoon.
Looking up at the slopes of Cnoc Iochtair, the first mountain that I had climbed earlier in the day.
The track ahead and Skregbeg.
The Hydro Track takes another sharp turn, to the west this time, about half a kilometer or so from the car park, and I was on the home straight – an easy downhill stretch.
Back in the car park, and a final view of Knocknabrone Hill/Derryfanga through the Autumn foliage.
It was nice to be back at the car with all the comforts that it held – water and a towel, clean socks and footwear, and lunch to be eaten in the sunshine as I rested before the long drive home. I always feel a deep contentment after a walk like this, and weary legs or sore feet just seem to make the experience more valuable. I would highly recommend exploring this stunning part of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks.