Aughty Walk: Rural Futures Diary. Saturday--->Moyglass To Woodford To Sli Aoibhinn

We woke early with not far to walk. Our last meal was scrambled eggs and tea.
Woodford was tangible in our minds, only about 5km along the smaller road. There would be a convoy of local hill walkers heading up Sli Aoibhinn. It was the lightest my pack had been all week, and I felt energized for the final stretch. We hit the main road and took a side road that veered around the town. It turned out to be a high road, a very high road. It seemed appropriate that our last walk would be a serious climb. From the top, there was a dramatic panoramic view of Lough Derg, the Aughty’s and the Derrybrien windfarm. What had once been foreign know felt very familiar. We trudged down the hill and arrived in Woodford at exactly 11am. I kissed the ground. It was a strange feeling to stop. I had been fuelled by the thought of arriving in Woodford for most of the walk, but it didn’t seem right to stop walking. The journey still seemed to be in front of us.

It was appropriate then that we immediately joined Dermot Morgan, a walking Aughty encyclopedia, and the local hill walking club for a hike of Sli Aoibhinn. There were about 30 of us in all, and many people helped carry the flag up and down the mountain. We did it without our rucksacks and the walk felt like a dawdle. Dermot named the mountains to the east and said we could see six counties. At the top of the mountain, I
pointed most of our entire walking route.

Emma said afterwards that we know had a responsibility to the area to return and to engage with it. I agree. I definitely feel a great sense of gratitude to the people of the area for their openness and hospitality along the way. It felt good to finally stop walking, though I do miss that strange feeling of connectedness that comes from walking long distances.

On the last night in Walsh's Pub in Woodford I was lucky enough to hear Gerry Conway play an olud tune. Here is a youtube link I found of the good man himself. Gerry he won the flute championships in 1974 and he told me that he didn't know this video was being recorded and that would love to make a proper recording one day.

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