30 March 2010

Barley Lake

It was one of those magic winter days in February 2010. The Beara Peninsula hadn’t seen any rain for a couple of weeks, the nights had been cold and the air was crystal clear. I checked my mountain bike, packed some lunch, put on some extra warm layers and off I went.

Leaving Kenmare, following the River Sheen on back roads towards Bonane, was the perfect warm up for the first climb of the day – Caha Pass. The valley opens up like an arena once you have passed Molly Gallivan’s Traditional Farm and your eyes follow the road going up to the tunnel.

Sun shining on my left cheek I kept the wheels spinning steadily towards the Kerry/Cork border. At the top of this climb I waved Kerry “good-bye” and rode into the tunnel, which basically is a dark, wet cave with two exits. A stunning view welcomed me on the Cork side.

After a 1/2 mile I saw Bantry Bay ahead and across the Glens my destination for today - Barley Lake. A fast downhill, some nasty turns, and I was down in the Glens riding a bit faster to get back into the sun. That following climb was now really steep (steep, steep) and a pleasure to ride at the same time – a mountain bike’s playground. The road ended at a small car park and a single track lead me to the lake.

I had my lunch, enjoyed the views and the sun and promised myself…I’ll come back with some friends, on our bikes, in summer, and we’ll have a barbecue!

We offer guided bike trips for all levels, hill walking, rock climbing, canoeing and jeep tours.

Beara Outdoor Adventures

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