Say Hello

Close the dialog

Send us a comment


Michael Flatley is coming to his home town of Culfada, just beyond Gurteen on the Keash side, to open a music garden dedicated to his amazing success worldwide. He is also unveiling a plaque in honour of Tom McGowan the bango player from Culfada.who died two years ago. Jimmy has been asked to play a few tunes after the event in Higgins's pub.Tom's wife Anna and family were all there to honour Tom, also Ted his brother who is one of the most silently significant promoters of traditional music in the west of Ireland.

The evening was beautiful and the locals turned out in their scores . Michael Flatley was very impressive, he arrived in his own car (not by helicopter) and was very friendly and accessible to all. There were so many musicians eager to play in honour of their dead colleague and for the living legend that we managed to slip away easily among the throngs of

There are four nights of music ahead, the Paddy Killoran festival  in Ballymote, so two nights of music there and on to Ted's in Gurteen on Saturday (Roisin Dubh) and the Hatch in Ballaghaderreen on Sunday. Summer time is a great opportunity to meet up with musicians from all over the country at festivals and we are lucky that so many are within reach of us. There are lots more to come over the coming months. But first things first.

One final thing to be done before we head for the mountains.

Water the garden, we do not want to use up our supply from our rain water collection as it may be a long dry summer yet. So we went to the river, and we gave all the vegetables a good soak.



We're off.

It's the morning of the 21st  and we get off to an early start. We decided on the Sligo way. We began our walk from Lough Talt and across the Ox mts. The conditions are perfect for an adventure. Molly is just as excited as we are, she always knows when she sees us preparing   the tent and sleeping bags that something new is afoot.





We have been along this road before as we once looked at a little house in a forest here with a view to buying, but it wasn't for us.     ....... We are been carefully watched as we bid good morning to the locals.
                   There  are many beautiful abandoned holdings along the route.



We collect some kindling as we approach Lough Easky, we have brought the Kelly kettle and a hot drink would go down a treat . The marshy ground leading to the lake has been made accessible by planks of timber covered with wire mess, it is very encouraging to see that sligo tourism are taking the interest.


birdAfter a swim we are joined by the magical call of the Sandpiper

There is an information hoarding with pictures of  wildlife of the area and a good picnic space. But there is no provision for putting litter into a bin, so there is a lot of litter strewn along the walk way. Further along up Dunneill mt. there are turf cutters at work, and the previous years cut out banks are being filled up with household waste, shame on us ! do we think that it will just disappear if we turn our backs on it.

We try not to let it spoil our walk as we see the same thing happen every day in the bog beside us here in south Sligo.slodge We passed the shooting lodge and notice that there a water supply marked on our map just a couple of km away. It has been a very hot day and our supply is running short. The view from here is amazing we can see a large wind farm to our right, the sea is ahead and we are looking down on Enniscrone. This is a very beautiful area. As we approach the water supply we can see that it is a water treatment plant, but there is no sign of a tap or access to water. But our luck was in and a member of staff was just opening the gate to drive his car out and he obliged us by allowing us to refill our water containers.







windturbWe were now walking on the Kings mts as we passed between the north and south Dunneill wind farms, and up past Easky nature reserve ( a place to explore on another adventure), and on up Ladies Brae. It was time for a meal and a rest, we had been walking on the road for about 10km and then onto a rough track so somewhere soft underfoot would be nice. We crossed back onto a mountain track with soft heather and grass. We had our meal and 40winks.

We had walked about 25km but it was too early to call it a day as it is the longest day of the year and we wanted somewhere more suitable to celebrate it.  We walked on for about another 10km, most of which was on small roads with very little traffic which suited molly. We were now on the Ox mts.scenic route we passed a farmer who was shearing his sheep in the evening heat, we could see a forest ahead and it looked like  the place to spend the night. It was just the place to put our tent, have our Midsummer celebtation of Fire jumping and rest our tired bones for the night.




Sleep came easy and before long it was 5.30am we were wide awake,  we had hard boiled eggs and scones for breakfast. We had used up all our water by now so no hot drink this morning. Further along the road we found a river where we boiled up plenty of water in the Kelly kettle and Molly stocked up like a camel. Sometimes a hot drink seems sooo good.




From there we it seemed like a long road down into Coolaney village, we passed a lot of Elderflowers on the way and we looked longingly at them. Last summer we very successfully made elderflower champagne and now it looked like the flowers would start to die back if they were not picked soon.
Knock na Shee was very close on our right and we could see the place where just a few
weeks ago we had a little picnic. By 10am we were in Coolaney. We had a picnic in the park along the river, and talked about the Elderflowers, rain was forecast for the next day and as the flowers must be picked in the sunshine today is the day to do it.








We phoned Dave to come pick us up, and before the day was out we had 20 gallons of Elderflower wine and Champagne underway.


20 large flower heads.

3kg sugar

10 lemons

5gallons water

Boil enough water to dissolve the sugar, pour onto the flowerheads in a sterilised container. add the remaining water. allow to cool. Add the juice of 5 lemons and 5 lemons sliced.  Stir well. Cover with a cloth for 24hours. Strain through a muslin cloth, bottle and leave for 10 to 14 days before drinking. To make champagne put into pressurised bottles and leave for 1year.  Slainteelderflowers-001

We will go back soon and finish the Sligo Way, there is about 30km more and we should complete it in one day. It is a beautiful walk and we would recommend  it. It could be improved with some very simple addittions. There could be a couple of water points installed, and a few resting benches as most of the walk is on roads with sheep wire fences along both sides so there is nowhere to take a rest, and also a litter bin or two as hikers have nowhere to dispose of food containers like a sardine tin or cheese wrappings.which encourage little hairy multi legged ones to hang about to share the tent of an evening.







This years bumper crop of Strawberries and Redcurrents has enabled the production of a new batch of country wines and we have also tried a honeysuckle, Whitethorn ,Rhubard , Dandelion, and hope to try out Gorse , elderberries, and Rowan berries.. The aroma throughout the house at present is interesting , to say the least.