Ronnie Irvine/Elaine Simpson 2019
Thursday 04 April. 2019, Ballintempo Forest. A smaller group than usual (7) travelled to Aughnaglack in Fermanagh where they had a delightful walk in Ballintempo forest. With spruce harvesting well advanced attractive views of the Fermanagh/Cavan area opened up. A visit to the well known Court Tomb in the forest (dating back around 3500 years) was a feature of the walk. Thanks to Mary O’ for leading (as ever with a smile) and Gladys for the well though out range of photos.
Thursday 18 April. 2019, Derrynoyd Forest. 13 walkers took advantage of a fine morning to walk in Derrynoyd. An easy walk through quiet woodland with bluebells beginning to show and birds singing. Leaders were Kathleen and Joan-thanks to both. Katherine invited us for coffee and a chance to admire a beautiful garden. Keith and Margaret joined us- delighted Margaret is gaining mobility..and will be out walking with us soon. Sad to see ‘Derrynoid Centre’ empty and unused. Some of us had been to conferences there, years ago-an ideal spot. Unfortunately in N.I. we seem to be good at starting things but poor at maintaining. them.
Thursday 2nd May. 2019, Montalto. 10 wallkers went to Montalto near Ballynahinch to enjoy spring scenery in ‘The heart of Down’ - roughly a mile and a bit from my home as a boy. A beautiful spring day, with fresh green in the trees, carpets of bluebells, azaleas and rhododendrons in full bloom .We saw this beautiful estate at its best. Montalto once belonged to the Clanwilliam family but is now owned by the ‘Wilson’ group. They have created one of the finest places to visit in N.I. Everything immaculate,well conceived and carefully looked after. The walks were easy , we could wander through beautiful landscapes without any great effort. Due to a club donation (and thanks to Pat McConnell -our rep. for obtaining this.) we were able to lower the entry cost a bit. A lovely day out and a place to visit again…- lots of pictures-but that’s the kind of place it is.Nice to see Roy and Doris out again.
Some Thursday walkers went on the Anniversary walk, Pat McC sent a few photos and short report.Thanks Pat.
Joan Moffett, a founder member said, we will never forget the 30th anniversary walk. We had a lovely start from Portballintrae to the Giants Causeway, sunny but cold. Our first hint of 40 mph winds came as we ascended to the high path past Giant’s Causeway leading to Dunseverick. As we clung to the fence we should probably, at that stage, have decided to turn back! However, we pressed on, staying close to the fence in anticipation of further gusts The sea was spectacular and the views along the fabulous coastal path kept us going. Our ETA for the bus was 1.30 but it became obvious it would be more like 2.45. We battled on and found a hollow below some steps to have a bite of lunch. Two of the group, Veronica and John who were ahead, came back to say that a French girl further along was clinging to the fence,so scared she couldn’t let go. Eventually Veronica and John talked the girl into coming with us,she and her partner stayed with our group until we reached Dunseverick. There Veronica and John were rewarded with hugs from the French visitors. As leader, l felt l had made the wrong decision in not turning back and was very thankful that our group completed the walk without incident. A special thanks to Iris Johnston for helping some of the group when the wind was at its height. I will certainly consider gale warnings in future when walking on a narrow path with a horrifying drop only feet away. As Joan said, a memorable walk!
Thursday 16th May. 2019, Hudy’s Way. 14 turned out for an old favourite-Hudy’s Way-through beautiful Co.Derry countryside (never mind a few stiles to negotiate). Weather was pleasant. Thanks to leaders Roy and Doris,and thanks to Dorothy for nice group photo.
Thursday 27th June 2019, North Coast walk...Portstewart The original walk was changed to a coastal at Portstewart,and considering the beautiful day-a good decision. Brian (good to see he and Ellen back) led the walk, and a good sized group of 17 enjoyed the beach and dunes on a glorious day. I was sorry to miss this walk. Thanks to Gladys for taking some excellent photos on the day. Hope Mary O’ is well recovered from her recent illness.