Hungry Hill

We had a loose plan to walk around the area of Hungry Hill today. This mountain is the most prominent landmark on the Beara peninsular as seen from TJ's land here on the Sheepshead. But I'm not sure that in all my visits here I've ever seen the summit. It always seems to be shrouded in cloud. It has its very own weather system. As we drove over the Healy Pass today the very grey and unpromising weather of the morning had deteriorated into very sharp showers and then more persistent rain. I was pretty much resigned to not getting to see much of the hills today other than from the car.

As we got down to the coast we decided to drive up as close as possible to the prominent waterfall that cascades down this mountain just to get a feel for the scale of it. Then the rain stopped and there appeared to be a little bit of brightness on the horizon, no more really than a little patch of light grey amidst a huge expanse of dark grey, but it encouraged us enough to take a short walk to see if we could get to the foot of the waterfall. As it happened, I misread the map and we found ourselves climbing up to a ridge instead - not an unusual occurrence in my company! The weather continued to improve and we were enticed higher and higher, being rewarded with incredible views of the sun breaking through the clouds and lighting up Bantry Bay. Even the summit of Hungry Hill itself was finally unveiled as the clag cleared away. Looking at threatening weather all around us it seemed like we were in the best place to be in the whole of West Cork!

If we'd had a few more hours of daylight to play with then we might well have made a bid for the summit, but that would actually have been trying to force too much out of the day. We got halfway up the mountain to see across to the first of its two remote tarns before reluctantly retracing our steps. We knew we would be coming back soon with more time and hopefully more settled weather. We got down quite quickly and although the weather looked like it was closing in again we decided to pursue our original aim to see the waterfall. TJ has blipped it here. It is such a wild place. There are plans afoot to return in the summer to take a walk under the full moon. We were both in our element today, but as I write this quite late in the evening, both quite wiped out by the elements too! On a day that promised so little we were delivered so much. I feel blessed!

Click here to see a shot of the kind of light show we were treated to from the ridge, and a fuller set of shots here (click on the slideshow button).

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