photos, sligo

In the shadow of a giant

Quite a few weeks ago I was up at some daft hour due to insomnia and decided to go off walking. It was a beautiful morning, the sun was beginning to rise and I drove to the Isle of Innisfree.

From there I walked from Innisfree to Slish Wood and back again. This is part of the Sligo Way Walk which runs from Lough Talt just outside Tubbercurry and finishes in Dromahair, Co. Leitrim.  The whole walk is 80km and I don’t think I’d ever consider attempting it but I like the fact that you can break it up into sections.

At Innisfree you follow the signs with the little yellow walking men/women. I had to cross a couple of styles and walk through some farm land at the start, I had a welcoming committee!

Just a short way into the walk there are the boardwalks and I always wondered why they were there and why people couldn’t just walk on the land. After stepping off the wood I quickly realised why they are there as my foot went sinking into the marsh! I lost my shoe for a while and ended up knee deep in mud! I did get my shoe back after some tugging!

The scenery up there is just stunning. The purple rhododendrons and the blue of Lough Gill with the Sleeping Giant providing a backdrop. It’s so easy to see why the poet WB Yeats was so inspired by this beautiful landscape. The photo above was featured by Discover Ireland on Twitter 🙂

The dew was sparkling in the morning sun and when the camera caught the light and the water droplets I was treated to a display of rainbows. It was just so peaceful and breathtaking.

On the way back to Innisfree I wandered through the forest and thought I’d be clever and take a short cut. Big mistake when I came up against a barbed wire fence but I was more or less back so I paddled through Lough Gill – it got rid of most of the mud anyway – although I was squelching when I reached dry land. I took a moment to look at the lake and dry off a bit and I saw what I thought was a lump of wood until I saw it jump into the water. It was an otter! The first one I’ve seen one in the wild, it moved too quickly for me to get a photo of it.

If you get a chance and are looking for a beautiful walk, I’d really recommend this one. Just stick to the path though.

 

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