The two photographs above are Graeme and Handsome Bob(not me, sniff sniff) heading up the slopes to one of the most spectacular and eye-catching peaks in the country. Benwisken, with its extraordinary, never forgotten once seen, breaking wave cliffs.
Some of the Dartry Mountains have access problems as most sit on private land and its up to individual farmers and landowners to grant permission. Benwisken in particular has suffered from this in the past.
(There may be more locally but I,m just not aware of it, being a novice to the area.)
The white blob on the pinnacle above is a death defying sheep, of which more later.
This is a cracking link for great photos, myths and history of the area by folk who know its secrets intimately. Well worth a look. Beautifully created. The 5 min video of the ascent of Ben bulben is brilliant and it features a good looking young man. (Well ,better looking and younger than me anyway. Photos are much better than mine as well. Sniff Sniff. Ah well I suppose he's got more time to pick his viewpoints being a local. Only fair. At the bottom of this remarkable link's first page is a stunning photo of Benwisken and a gateway portal of a journey into the highest caves in Ireland.
Wonderful images inside a limestone treasure. We had a drive under them but it was almost dark by that time
Every new view is a surprising wonder here. Fresh and exciting.
A view of our approach route up Benwisken and the deep layers of peat encountered all along the plateau. Some of these peat beds were ten to fifteen feet deep. Not only Donegal has a thriving industry in turf for home fires it seems as the entire basin below the mountain had folk busy digging. .
Benbulben was reputed to be the home of the Fianna, The half mythical bands of fighting outcasts, inspiration for many plays and stories. This is also Yeats country, as the poet,writer and Nobel prize winner grew up in Sligo and knew this area well.
Benbulben itself was just a flat broad summit but it did have extensive views. You don't tend to meet many hill walkers on the lesser Irish peaks, even one's as noticeable as these. Only a faint path to the summit where a small plaque informed me that someone had died up here recently. Australian guy I think attracted by the pull of walking across mountains on Europe's furthest shoreline. As it faces the full force of the Atlantic storms coming in it can get savage up here in winter I'd imagine.
Maybe over generations of grazing flocks on this mountain the sheep here have developed mountain goat like characteristics.
Ireland. It is indeed a remarkable place.
Video is another one from the archives. Marsha Hunt singing Dr John's Classic about voodoo, half seen things creeping through the darkness, and yellow belted joy zombies coming to steal your eyes. Brilliant version.