In the MournesEncouraged by good weather forecasts that are rather something uncommon here throughout winter months, not deliberating much we jumped into the car on Sunday morning and directed ourselves to the North. Leaving Dublin, passing still sleeping Drogheda, Dundalk and Newry on the British side of the border we circled picturesque mountain range rising with its slightly whitened peaks on our right from north side by idyllic countryside.
These were the Mourne mountains, area that I knew only from bus windows when travelling once to Belfast. Around noon, we finally reached Newcastle, lovely located seaside resort on Dundrum Bay leaning itself from the west on steep slopes of Slieve Donard, the highest peak of the Mournes, which we wanted to climb by nearby Glen valley.
The day was quite sunny, but extremely windy up there. We met several hikers on the route coping with some icy traverses below the main pass.
Following famous "Mourne wall" we reached the summit of Donard around 2.30 pm in great scenery of mountains and sea panorama, being very lucky because in no more than quarter the whole visibility was totally gone and there was only that hellish cold wind that remained. Back down in Newcastle in fallling darkness, there was no point in taking the way of return along the sea, south to the mountains towards the bay of Carlingford, but that's the clear goal for the next trip there.
These mountains seem to be great hiking area absolutely worth visiting, so see you next time in the Mournes!
These are some pics from my trip to Slieve Donard. Enjoy!
Mourne mountains, County Down, Northern Ireland, 17th January 2010
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