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Slieve Felim Way

June 9, 2007
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corey says…Tony and I woke up early this morning and decided to conquer the trail I discovered a few days earlier. Ends up it is part of the Slieve Felim Way, a hiking trail.

As we hiked, we kept considering coming back down, but there seemed to be another amazing vista over every hill, down every valley adn around every mountaintop. This hike was absolutely brilliant, and the weather was as good as it possibly could be.

There, overlooking the valley, we looked down at the magpies flying below us and ate our sandwiches.

The Trail Turns Treachorous
In the end, we walked the entire ridge of the Silvermines Mountains nearly to the main road. The trail seemed to taper off, and we found ourselves following a forestry fence. When that met another fence, we had to climb over into a field.

We could see the road at the bottom of the hill, but there didn’t seem to be a direct route to it. It appeared that the only way to get there without taking a huge detour was to climb a few more fences and go through the furze bushes (gorse). One problem, the furze is very prickly, and of course, it was thickest on the steepest part of our trek.

We were climbing down the furze-lined hill, grabbing the heather by its roots to keep from tumbling to the bottom. Each time the furze spikes touched our skin, we reminded ourself, “At least it’s not nettles or brambles.”

Once we got through that patch, the rest of the journey was through pasture. Finally, we arrived at the road and had one last gate to climb. There, as we both climbed the gate, we were swiped by a feral stalk of nettles. It burned for about a mile as we walked back to Tony’s cottage.

On our walk back, we were passed by several neighbors who stopped and were quite impressed by our feat. After nearly 4 hours, we were back at the cottage quite exhausted.

Video footage from this hike is available at www.IrishFireside.com Episode #43.

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