– a route without peer  . . .  flooded at 14 points

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Scots Pine reflected in Dundag Bay

A wide panorama of the Lower Lake, by historic Muckross Abbey, through the heavily wooded Muckross Peninsula – with a mixture of native and exotic trees – including the largest yew wood in western Europe – unique swamp woodland, great oak woods … underneath thick carpets of mosses at their richest at the moment.

Along the way constantly varied glimpses of the Middle and Lower Lakes.  At Brickeen Bridge the waters of the Middle Lake flowing into the Lower.  Mountainous backdrop south and west.

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Mangerton Mountain from Dundag Headland

In light mist and some heavy showers the greens of conifers and mosses glistened.

I said in last week’s notebook that the Muckross and Dinis route was still flooded.  In ideal weather on Saturday last we followed this relatively flat and relatively smooth route to facilitate a three year old cycling.  We told an adult cyclist that Muckross and Dinis was still flooded.   But when we reached the first flood point – where a photo taken the previous Sunday showed Sarah with three legs – the road was clear, the flood waters had all receded.

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Dundag Bay and Glena Mountain

So on Sunday last a mad rush to do a walk that I have done on Christmas days since I was very young.  Flooding has made it impossible several times in recent years.   If deluge rain continues to be a feature of our weather the route will have to be raised or this most famous walk/cycle/jaunting car ride will be enjoyed on much fewer occasions.  On Sunday we counted fourteen points at which the route was flooded constantly since mid December.

As well we were late starting.   It was almost one o’clock when we left the carpark at the first Muckross entrance to the Killarney National Park.  Luckily Sarah agreed to travel in the buggy – from which she directed the collection of cones and leaves, sang songs and gave orders.

At Dinis the road has been badly torn away by the raised water levels over the past five weeks.

Walking along the main road is much less pleasant than the demesne track opened a number of years ago.  But it is level and is much more buggy-friendly.

We had the place almost to ourselves until we travelled from Torc to Muckross House.

It was after 4 when we finished.   

There really is no other route like Muckross and Dinis, at any time of the year and in any weather.  Now the Christmas calendar is complete.

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Panorama from Dundag Headland – Mangerton, Torc, Eagle’s Nest, Tomies, Shehy, Purple Mountains

Weather conditions and time did not encourage taking photos on Sunday.  Conditions on Monday were perfect.  It was calm and dry and the overcast conditions leant a moodiness to the extraordinary reflections on the flat calm waters around Dundag – which is part of the Muckross & Dinis route.

During the past weeks I have seen more jays than over a whole year up to now.  Has our most exotic native bird become more numerous or is it being forced to change its hunting ground by the flood waters?   I must ask Frank King.

– Frank Lewis







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