Off on our 4th leg of the Ballyhoura Way this time to walk from Ballyorgan to Ballylanders. When planning these legs, we are working out how many hours a leg is going to take us and whether it’s feasible depending on the hours of daylight available to us and the weather conditions. A lot of it revolves around ‘safe parking’ too as we need to park a car at at the start of the leg and one at the finish.
Parking in a village like Ballylanders is handy. There’s usually a town square and/or free parking. This time we parked one car in Ballylanders and then drove back to Ballyorgan where we parked our second car outside the local school.
Castle Oliver Gate Lodge
The weather being a lot better than it was the last day we’d finished up in Ballyorgan, I had to take a quick photo of the gate lodge at Castle Oliver.
Our walk began with easy forest trails under beautiful blue skies. We were “blessed” with the weather once again.
It seemed like we’d been walking no time at all before we were descending downhill from the forest and approaching the environs of Kilfinane, a really pretty town where we were able to grab a coffee and scone and sit in the town square for a while.
Take heed! If you’re sitting down to have a coffee, I’d strongly advise *not* sitting at the benches under the trees where the information signs are, especially if it’s a nice fine day. While drinking my coffee, I heard a ‘splat’ on the ground beside me and, looking up, I saw the tree branches above my head full of birds waiting to see if I’d leave them any of my scone. A second ‘splat’ just missed my head.
There are benches at the fountain in the square which are a much better option if you don’t want to end up with cream on your scone.
Kilfinane – Wooden Sculptures
These sculptures are designed and carved by a Limerick based chainsaw sculptor by the name of Will Fogarty. Have a look at his webpage. His work is amazing!!
Beara-Breifne Way Passport Stamps
We stopped at the Ballyhoura Hostel to get our passports stamped but, unfortunately, it was closed. Walking on a Sunday means that many of the places along the Ballyhoura Way/Beara-Breifne Way that will stamp the passport are closed. One of the shops listed on the Beara-Breifne Way website didn’t actually have the stamps. But, I’m assured that the Ballyhoura office have stamps for all the towns, which is good to know.
Ballyhoura Horse Trekking
Did you know you can go pony trekking on the Ballyhoura Way? Neither did we until we turned off the road out of Kilfinane, turned into a field, and saw this track ahead.
I think I mentioned somewhere else that a lot of the track can be very muddy in wet weather. This section was no exception. Wear boots!
We turned left off the horse track and onto some marshy ground. At one point, there were sections of tree trunks laid along the ground to form stepping stones. Be really careful when you come to these. In wet weather they’re really slippy.
Buddy the Yellow Man
Maybe the sun was getting to us, but we had a discussion about what we were going to call our little yellow friend who we’re always delighted to see as it means we’re going the right way. We went through a lot of names before deciding on Buddy.
Meet Buddy the Help!
We passed through a beautiful section of forest before landing back on wide open forest tracks again. These seemed to go on for a really long time, and we were getting hungry. There didn’t seem to be any suitable place to sit and have lunch though, so we made for the Pinnacle on Slievereagh.
The Pinnacle, Slievereagh
I’ve been up to the Pinnacle several times now, in summer and winter, and each time it’s been freezing up there. So, it was pure joy to climb up there and be able to sit in t-shirt sleeves at the Trig Point.
We passed the large mast on Slievereagh and turned in to the left of it before ascending to the top of the hill.
Such a fabulous day with an amazing view from the trig point. It’s hard to believe it was a November day when we did this.
Five and a half hours after setting off, the sun was starting to set as we arrived into Glenbrohane.
Three and a half kilometres later we arrived back into Ballylanders. Then it was back to Ballyorgan to pick up Car No. 1, and to get a stamp in the Beara-Breifne passports.