Three years ago (2010), I went working to Ireland for 1 year where I also had the opportunity to go for a hike nearby Killarney with two of my fellow workers. The landscape was gorgeous and not comparable to Dublin where I actually lived. After visiting the local tourist office we started hiking equipped with maps and some snacks in our backpacks.
Day 1: Ascent to Corrán Tuathail
At the starting point there was a map board which showed as the area. Our goal was to walk along Loch Gabrach (lake of the goats) and ascend Choc An Chuillinn, pass the Devil’s ladder and hike upwards towards Corrán Tuathail which is the highest peak in Ireland (1039m).
The first part of the tour was quite easy. We walked along green grass, rocks and crossed a bridge. We came across mushrooms and sheeps as well. Fresh water was available in the stream coming down the mountains and on our ascent we were rewarded with picturesque sceneries after we passed Loch Gabhrach. Meanwhile, the weather changed and it became windier and it started raining. Once we reached the crest we walked it along passing the Devil’s Ladder.
There was plenty of scree was on our way up to the summit of Corrán Tuathail and the weather became with each step more and nastier so I decided to put on my rain jacket. It was just cold and wet on top of Corrán Tuathail.
A summit cross welcomed us on top of Corrán Tuathail, dedicated to Fr. Bob Murphy and Tom O’Connor, and other hikers tried to get out their rain jackets and snacks.
We decided not to spend too much time on the summit due to the bad weather conditions. However, on the way back we were again rewarded with a breathtaking view looking down the Devil’s ladder. We went back to our car and celebrated the ascent in one of the pubs in Killarney.
Day 2: Gap of Dunloe
Today was a sunny day and in the morning we saw the mist rising to the sky while a spider started building its net. The temperatures went up again and I packed my T-shirt back into my backpack. We started our hike in the Northern end walking South along lakes. The clear water of the lakes almost invited me to take a swim. We reached Kate Kearney’s Cottage where we rested a few moments. We saw Ponies and Horses along the way. There were some abandoned houses exposed to the ravages of time. Boulders were spread over the area.
At some point we were listening to the water rushing down the waterfall while we had a break. Later on the view opens towards a scenic valley. And then we saw an old bridge leading our way to the final destination. It seems that a plane crashed here during the second world war.
After our hiking trip, we took our car and drove back to Dublin after a short stopover in Killarney. This trip has been one of the best experiences for me in Ireland and would recommend it to anyone looking for an adventure in Ireland.