DONEGAL’S Inishowen Peninsula was the destination for the Mid-Ulster Walking Club recently as the club revisited a favourite walk.
The route lay firstly over the Urris Hills, from Crummie’s Bay near Dunree Head to the Mamore Gap, before continuing northeast over Mamore Hill and Raghtin More to descend near Tullagh Bay. Twenty-two walkers turned out, with particular kudos going to the two Tullagh Bay campers.
Conditions were poor initially, with rain, mist and no visibility as the walkers hauled themselves up onto the first of their eight Urris Hills tops. But very quickly the day turned fine and the mist vanished, revealing a - mostly - obvious path that imposes some order on this series of rugged, irregular hills, which rise and fall sharply between one spiky summit and the next. It revealed moreover fantastic views of the coast below and westwards to the Bluestack and Derryveagh Mountains, to Muckish and Errigal, and eastwards to the Sperrins.
A break was taken looking down at Lehan Bay with its pristine beach and out towards Dunaff Head. Pushing on briskly over the final tops the walkers descended to the Mamore Gap, the halfway point of the walk.
Six walkers were happy to finish here. For the rest much remained to do, beginning with some heavy going on the immediate energy-sapping ascent of Mamore Hill. In due course Crockmain (460 m) brought another steep pull.
But the walkers were now on the shoulder of Raghtin More, the day’s highest peak at 502 metres. Having lingered a little in the warm afternoon sunshine they climbed the broad boulder-laden slope to the summit, with its fine views to Scotland, the hills of their long walk now lined up neatly behind them.
Continuing a short distance they reached Raghtin Beg. Far below, the finishing point of the walk, ‘The Rusty Nail’, could just be seen.
A tricky descent followed, as the walkers floundered down through deep heather and dodged across soft marshy ground. A superb walk was now nearly at an end.
New Club members are always welcome. If interested please contact George on 8778 4081.
For Thursday walks specifically please contact Ronnie (8676 5142) or Jim (8676 3576) or simply visit www.midulsterwalkingclub.org.uk for full details of the Club and its activities.