Well we were up at 7:30 this morning getting our stuff ready for our hike. It is nice out right now but supposed to rain later – surprise!!!!
Got on the road with Ian who gave us a lot of history of what has gone on in this area, why there are cows in some places and sheep in others. We also got to see some broken down stone houses (2 rooms) that were built in the 1600’s. One room was for livestock and the other for the family. These settlers stayed on for a time, but finally left. Fuel was primarily from peat harvested in the local area.
We also saw some areas where peat is still being harvested, and was piled up on the side of the road. Not sure how sustainable this is.
We decided to change our itinerary so that we would have more time in Glenariff park, so started a few kms into the hike. Our hike took us across the moors
towards Trostan Mountain
the weather closed in as we walked up Trostan Mountain and would have been interesting to walk through
The trails were well marked and had bridges, stiles and ladders over fences and creeks. Where there wasn’t, you were on your own
As we climbed over Trostan Mountain, the ground changed, the wind came up and mist started moving away.
Once we got off the mountain, we took a lunch break
After crossing Trostan we entered Essathothan Glen. This is an amazing forest area, and we followed a creek all the way through. The area has very deep moss on the ground, and the trees are a plantation with ditches dug to drain the wet peaty areas.
We stopped for a break here by the falls and had a snack. Then continued along the forest line, crossed the B41 Balleymon Road and into Glenariff Forest Glen.
This park has very many trails, gorgeous waterfalls and amazing scenic views that go all the way to the ocean.
this pretty much finished up our hike here – EXCEPT – we now had to walk all the way back up to the top.
and that is the end of a very excellent day. Some rain so we could wear all the rain gear we had with us. That way we wouldn’t complain later that we carried gear and didn’t even use it. Obviously took lots more pictures (over 200) but you will see them later.
If the rest of the hikes are as good as this one, we are going to have a fabulous time.
and now from Connie
We had our first day of hiking and it was great! The start was quite challenging as we went uphill, and uphill and then uphill some more. The view was wonderful and I had to stop many times to look at it. 🙂
We were walking in fields with sheep but there is really no other wildlife to concern ourselves with. The Glen we went through was just like an enchanted forest. Just like being in another world. We even played a game…..
The weather improved as the day went on so that was a bonus. We found out that we don’t melt in the Irish rain. There was not another soul hiking today so that was kind of weird. When we got to the park there was an actual toilet to use. YAY! There was also a gift shop and restaurant so we got tea in our travel mug for the trail we were doing in the park. That was heaven.
On the waterfall trail we went down, down down, into an area that felt like a rainforest. There was lush ferns and shamrocks and trees and vegetation of all kinds. The waterfalls were awesome. Such a beautiful part of the world we saw today and not very many people get to experience it. We then came up, up, up again which I did without too much whining.
When we got back to our B&B our host Ian offered to drive us to Broughshane for supper and we took him up on that offer without second thoughts. The walk home was lovely and we have a Father and Daughter from Washington at the B&B tonight. They are very friendly and we enjoyed visiting with them. We have a 21 km hike tomorrow so I best be off to bed.