Sunday, 17 September 2017

Mount Brandon - Our Good Year Continues

On Sunday 17 September we headed west towards Dingle to Mount Brandon. We stopped in Dingle for coffee and on then to Baile Breac. This is on the Cosan na Naomh { Saints Path } routh which starts at Ventry beach and ends at the summit of Mount Brandon.We parked here and began our climb. The weather was excellent and conditions underfoot were good. Mount Brandon is the ninth highest mountain in Ireland and the second highest outside of the Mcgillycuddy Reeks.At 952 meters it is only 86 meters shy of Carrauntoohill.
The route is well marked with the fourteen Stations of the Cross at intervals all the way up. The start of the climb is gentle enough but as you gain altitude it gets steeper.The views are breathtaking looking out over the patch work of fields and towards the Blaskets and Schellig Michael, Smerwick Harbour and the Three Sisters. There were many stops to admire the scenery.
Looking ahead the cloud was covering part of the mountain and we were hoping that it would be clear by the time we reached the top.
Towards the summit there was a fairly fresh breeze. When we finally reached the 952 meter mark, we had some refreshments and took some photographs.
There are the remains of a small oratory, it was here that Saint Brendan {484-577} was reputed to have stayed before he set out on his voyage to discover North America 1000 years before Coloumbus. It is doubtful if he could land in America now or if he did he would be deported.
There are some sheer drops close to the summit, and it could be dangerous in foggy weather.
In 1940 a Luftwaffe plane crash landed on Brandon. Local Gardai met the Germans coming down the Saints Path and they were arrested and interned in the Curragh Camp. One of the German crew men
Kurt Kyol met and married an Irish woman from Kildare. They lived in Ireland and he died in 2010.
Three more planes came down on Brandon in 1943 with a loss of 14 lives. Two RAF planes and one BOAC aircraft.  Flying Officer David Hartigan RAF was from Bruff Co. Limerick he died approx 70 miles from his home. Two more airmen are buried at Killiney graveyard near Castlegregory.
It got quite cold sitting around eating so we set off down. The descent was easy enough as the ground was good and dry.
Finally back at the car park we freshened up and made our way back to Dingle,with the intention of calling to the Marino Bar for food and to watch the match. However it was not to be. The place was full and we had to move on to the Schellig Hotel. Here over chowder and steak burgers we reminisced about the day as we watched Mayo falther again on their quest for the Holy Grail. All in all we had a much better day out than the poor Mayo supporters.

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