Our next walk Sunday 16th of February follows an old smuggling path, “The Brandy Pad” through the mountains of Mourne.
During the 18th Century the coast around Newcastle was a favourite spot for landing contraband shipped from the Isle of Man. Brandy as well as tea, coffee, tobacco, soap and wine were all loaded onto pack ponies which then trekked from Bloody Bridge River, through the Mournes to their destination in Hilltown.
We will be following in the footsteps of the smugglers on this linear route starting probably from Bloody Bridge and finishing up at the car park at the end of the Trassey Track. (Car parking here is very limited).
As you are aware the bus is completely booked and no one to date has dropped out. Please note that there is a lengthy road distance between the starting and finishing points, the bus will not be available to drop people back to the starting point so anyone choosing to drive will have to make their own arrangements for getting back to their cars
On the day, B group, weather permitting will walk 13km and climb overall 800m, taking in Slieve Commedagh (the second highest mountain in the Mournes), as well as Slievecoragh and Slievenagloch. C group will stick to the Pad but will still walk 11km and climb 600m overall!!
Both walks are 4½+ hours.
Please note on the day the bus will leave promptly from the Gap at 10.15. Likewise we need to set off promptly from the walk starting point, this is important for everyone to understand because safety and the available daylight hours are a priority for the entire group’s safety. We cannot wait around for any late comers to meet up with us at the starting point, at the moment we have only around an hour’s extra daylight between a walk ending and darkness, this would have serious consequences if there was to be any incident/accident on either walk.
Remember all walkers must be properly kitted out, a waterproof jacket, hat and gloves, and deep tread walking boots are a must, gaiters and walking sticks are also recommended. Leaders will enforce this minimum requirement of equipment on the day. As it will be a long day and both are challenging walks at around 4½+ hours, be sure you have plenty of water a hot drink and enough lunch/snacks to sustain you!
Fitness will be important, if in doubt which group to walk with ask the Walks Leaders for their advice.