John organised a number of additional summer walks in 2013 and these were well supported by members of Cedars Walking Group. Undoubtedly one of the best of these walks was the Brandy Pad.
Leaving Lurgan at 9 o'clock, a group of 9 Cedars Walkers started and, more importantly, completed the 8 mile walk from Bryansfowrd Road to Bloody Bridge. We parked our cars at Bloody Bridge and caught the 10:30am Mourne Rambler to Newcastle bus station (beside the defunct train station). That gave us 15 minutes before the nextRambler left for its anti-clockwise circuit of the Mournes, more than enough time to get a bacon butty and tea-to-go in the corner cafe opposite the bus station. Then on to the 11 o'clock Rambler for Trassey Road and the start of the Trassey Track - the double gates 50 metres up from the car park! We took the right hand path up to the Hare's Gap - narrow at times but a nicer route the the scamble through the boulders on the other side of the river.
From the Hare's Gap we enjoyed a magnificent walk along the Brandy Pad, through the heather to the Bog of Donard, taking in breathtaking views of the area within the Mourne Wall. As we crossed the wall we were treated to perfect views of the Isle of Man before making our descent through the quarry to Bloody Bridge. We returned via the café at Donard Car Park where John enjoyed a can of Guinness and a bowl of magnificent seafood chowder (how does he stay so slim?). It was a perfect end to a perfect day.
Although John did the organising, Derek was once again our lead guide and gave us lots of helpful information during the walk - well done Derek. But the star of the show was undoubtedly the Mourne Rambler. We'll use it again.
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We will leave Jethro Centre on the morning of walks at 10:00am unless otherwise agreed. Planned walks may change right up to the last minute. If travelling directly to the start point sign up for John's text messaging service to stay up to date.
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