IRELAND’S ICONIC MOUNTAINS: MUCKISH

Muckish as seen from the N56 between Dunfanaghy and Creeslough.

From now on I will put forward a new topic: taking you up Ireland’s iconic mountains. Those which can be seen from far away, those which steep slopes make your eyes open wide, which summit vista is as beautiful as a dream, yet which name sometimes sends shivers down your spine while thinking of their huge size and how hostile they can be under bad weather. The changeable, unpredictable weather conditions combined with the usually hard-going terrain indeed turn these hills into mountains. Despite their modest height and the rather reasonable amount of ascent implied, the Irish mountains are tough for the novice. But when it clears out, even just a bit, it is pure magic…

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Buachaille Etive Mor: until the end of the night !!

Saturday, 9. June 2017, Scotland at last !! Heading N on the A82 along Loch Lomond, the second largest lake in Great Britain after Loch Ness, I am becoming impatient. This portion of the road is winding and not too wide, but busy, not leaving many opportunities to enjoy the magnificent scenery. After the loch, it widens and heads straight N up the valley. Crianlarich, Tyndrum, Bridge of Orchy. Between these touristic villages, a void. Or should I say, beautiful, green landscapes, overlooked by the steep slopes of a few invisible munros.Then the road follows the edge of Loch Tulla before veering up the large hairpin, taking the stranger into another dimension…
The A82 crossing Rannoch Moor at sunset. Left in the distance stands Buachaille Etive Mor.

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A SCOTTISH DREAM (and a bit of my story…)

Some tough-going, high mountain ground and munros as far as the eye can see: the E ridge of Ben Starav (Scotland)

Fourteen years. Fourteen years I had not been back to Scotland. I had only been there once actually, in April 2003. An eight-day road-trip, with only two walks. Since almost a year, I keep dreaming about these wild, wide open spaces of moorlands and countless lakes and mountains, and especially these scary munros which rise so steeply above the Highlands. And now I can hear you ask: what is a munro ?

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