Over the weekend, Deirdre, Mark, Brendan and I took a walk in the Comeraghs: starting in the Nire Valley, crossing over to the Gap, making our way around to the Western Lakes, then climbing up to a small cairn on the plateau.

We traversed the boggy plateau, briefly encountering a “spot of bother”, when one of our group (who shall remain nameless) began to sink into the mud, saving himself using a technique with two poles that I will never forget.

After ploughing waist-deep through boggy streams and navigating through a cloudy and featureless landscape, we came to a point that we expected would lead us down the mountain. Instead of a gradual descent, however, we encountered a sheer cliff-edge. We had walked slightly further west than we had intended. We spent the next hour handrailing the cliffs until we finally discovered a safe exit from the plateau.

Just as we were going down, the cloud lifted, and we were able to make out a spectacular panorama. The walk back to the cars was almost magical, with the setting sun illuminating the valley in orange, yellow and emerald green.

It was a challenging, fun-filled, haphazard walk that we’ll remember for a long time.