Cruach Mharhain

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This is a modest sized mountain on the Dingle Peninsula, between Ventry and Dunquin, via the Clasach. A small but steep walk will take one to the top of this peak from the car park by the mast. It’s also a very satisfying journey, offering stunning views on the ascent and descent, and an even more rewarding vista at the top.

I always feel that this walk is best after few dry days, as the ground can be a very boggy, soggy affair. It’s also advisable to tuck your jeans well into your socks, as even this precaution doesn’t prevent the ticks from finding their way to a bit of your flesh, as I discovered. It’s a question of making it as challenging as possible for them. This is sheep country.

There is an easy path to the top, except where is gets so squelchy that one may have to deviate, carefully. This is probably where the tick risk arises, as one treads through the growth of heather.  Near the top it becomes more steep and demanding, as is often the case when walking up mountains; the top appears to be drawing near, but with each hump achieved, another looms large, until finally the real peak is conquered. I always have a good excuse for stopping to catch my breath, as I would need to take a good look around and take some photos. If the weather is good there is no point in rushing this very delightful experience; every moment should be savoured. I feel sorry for people who think they should rush to the top of every mountain; they miss so much.

Finally, the top is reached. This is really a wow experience! So many familiar landmarks of the Dingle Peninsula can be seen from this vantage point, and don’t they look spectacular from here? Sybil Head and the Three Sisters have that ‘hey! look at me’ kind of attitude, while the Blasket Islands just have ‘attitude’, Mount Eagle is quietly condescending and Mount Brandon just has it all (– when it’s not hiding under a cloud!), with Ballydavid Head, its faithful companion. It’s also possible to see across Dingle Bay to the mountains of the Iveragh Peninsula. After heartily consuming all this splendour and taking several photos -while hanging onto a fence post to brace oneself against the wind, one reluctantly starts the descent. The views towards Mount Brandon are particularly attention grabbing on the downward journey, which doesn’t seem to take long at all, even with several more photo stops.

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View of Sybil Head from the top of Cruach Mharhain

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View of Inis Tuaisceart, one of the Blasket Islands – also known locally as The Sleeping Giant, or The Dead Man.

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Mount Brandon and Ballydavid Head

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In this image one can see across Dingle Bay to the Iveragh Peninsula, also towards the left is the entrance to Dingle Harbour.

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Another view of Mount Brandon

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Dingle Bay and The Iveragh Peninsula under a beautiful sky

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Fields of many colours with Dingle Bay and the mountains of the Iveragh Peninsula

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The Three Sisters as seen from the top of Top of Cruach Mharhain

Check out my website: http://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/cruach+mharhain

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