Day 4: Fermoy to Ballyhooly
Time: 4 hrs 27 minutes including lunch break and coffee stop
Day 4 of our journey along The BlackWater Way – Fermoy to Ballyhooly.
We parked one car at the Church in Ballyhooly Because the trail doesn’t actually pass through Ballyhooly but through nearby Bloomfield Crossroads, it meant we would have approximately a half a kilometre walk back to the car when we finished up.
We then drove to Fermoy and parked once again in the public car park (which is currently free of charge) before setting out walking.
This week’s walk did not disappoint in terms of beautiful scenery and ease of walking. For most of this leg of the Blackwater Way, we walked alongside the river, itself. For most of our walk through Fermoy, we were blessed with blue skies reflected back at us in the still, calm waters of the river.
Along a section of the riverside walk called Banane’s Walk, we came across St. Bernard’s Well. We didn’t see the ‘cup’ hanging from the rail that is described in the archives on the Duchase.ie website, but the water didn’t look the best to be drinking, or even blessing oneself with.
Not far from the start of our journey, we found ourselves following a worn track through grass with trees and bushes on either side.
The river Blackwater was constantly visible to our right and we stopped several times to take photographs.
We came to a set of ‘kissing gates’, just one of the sets we would come across. This set were quite narrow though and I’d to remove my backpack to fit through.
These beautiful tall trees stood in one section of a field. My advice is to stop and admire them and not walk along with your head in the air, or you run the risk of walking into a patch of watery cow dung.
We saw this boat approaching on the river, and a short while later we passed the owner who had pulled in under the shade of some trees to do some fishing or something.
Then a couple of kayakers shouted hello as they paddled by us.
This was a beautiful section of the trail with lots of leafy greenery, and tree roots criss crossing the ground.
The track was quite muddy in places as there had been a steady fall of rain the day before and, at one stage, we had to walk across poles and planks of wood that someone had thrown down as a means of traversing the quagmire that had developed.
We got a bit of everything on this section of the Blackwater Way, but the one thing we were guaranteed of was – more cattle!
I loved the rainforest look of this country roadway.
Gurteen Wood, Ballyhooly
Straight away this wood seemed like such a magical place with the handprinted wooden placard for ‘Fairyland’ suspended from one of the trees.
Indeed, in a lot of forests and woods across the country, the fairy folk have arrived and set up house, their little doorways appearing, almost overnight, in the trees. I’d imagine that the current ‘lockdown’ has a lot to do with it and that the fairies are keeping a lot of children very busy. It’s so lovely to see.
Back in Ballyhooly!
The hours flew by and before we knew it, we were standing on the bridge beyond Bloomfield Crossroads looking over at Ballyhooly Castle.
Below is a lovely video that I found on YouTube that gives great views of the castle and the River Blackwater by user, LazzyBoy.
This section of The Blackwater Way was the nicest section we’ve walked so far. It was easy to walk with no major hills. The one piece of advice I’d give is to wear boots! There was one really wet and muddy section of path where poles and planks of wood had been laid for people to walk across. Because it was very sheltered, I would think that, unless the weather had been very dry for a long time, then this section would still be quite dirty. So be warned!