So today I went out bimbling again, and it wasn't to visit a big fat sweaty Mob boss called Big Don, It was in fact Slieve Donard, Northern Irelands highest peak. I suppose the mountain is actually the boss though, the old main stay, the base line of the Mournes. For me, kind of like a family member that you just have to visit a few times a year, otherwise Big Don will stare at you angrily from the distance while your sipping your Coffee in a Newcastle caffee, wondering why the feck you never came to see the boss.
Making my way up through Donard forest, Autumn was quite obvious and the forest had some great colour to it. It's about a 20 - 40 minute trek through the forest, depending on your personal speed limit/fitness/motivation etc. Halfway through the forest the Forestry department is doing work everyday from 8am - 4pm and there are certain paths blocked (signposted) and you should be careful as falling trees could give you a very bad day.
As I eventually cleared the forest, just passing the old Ice house, I thought 'yes' by clearing and seeing the open trail in front of me and the beautiful pass between Slieve Donard & Commedagh.
I would get some really inspirational thoughts. This wasn't the case, even though I was loving the walk and mild weather, the first thing that popped into my head was eggs?? random, not even any sort of relevant recipe, just the vision of an egg.
I'd had cereal that morning too.The second thing that that jumped to my mind was that I called 10 pin bowling 9 pin bowling, which isn't a thing, as my missus told me over the weekend. So realising I'm not the sharpest knife in the draw I carried on, with a little chuckle about the egg, as I gazed up towards eagle rock, and I actually saw an Eagle, I thought this is that all inspiring moment and my spirituality would connect with the mountain, I glanced down and saw some egg shell on the trail??!!!??? Who knew??? Moving along swiftly I made it up to the pass and Mourne wall and finally felt that amazing sense of calmness and peace that I so love about the mountains and outdoors.
The cloud was getting low and it was a tad colder, but I headed up into the mist, and getting to the summit to me is still always a great feeling. I sat at the top having a sandwich and I actually had stop chewing on occasion to listen to the silence, then some other walkers reached the top and we ended up having a bit of a chin wag, as you do. What I had noticed was in the silence earlier though, was an occasional knocking sound, which turned out to be some stonemasons working on the wall on the south face, I clocked them on my way down and unfortunately could also see their trail of fag ends along the wall, but they were doing a good restoration job.
All in all, quite a successful day, I walked a new route via the Bloody Bridge quarry, leading me to the old Donard Forest Quarry, Also managing to scope out a new route, Which will be coming Soon called Hard Rock, Chimney Rock.