During your three day visit to beautiful Gougane Barra you will explore the magic of the landscape, the language, and the lore of the area through a series of guided walks.
As one of the few natively Irish speaking areas in the country, throughout the weekend we’ll use the language to explore both the landscape and the depths of time that connect this ancient tongue to the history and culture of the area. You don’t have to be fluent in the language, but an open mind and willingness to try a new way of thinking is essential!
Your guide,Tomás Ó hAodha, is a qualified mountain leader with a degree in the Irish language and Celtic Civilization. He is currently completing a Master’s Degree in Early and Medieval Irish, and he moved to Gaeltacht Mhúscraí a number of years ago to fully immerse himself in the language, culture, and landscape of this unique area of Ireland. He is also an experienced Irish language teacher,giving tutorials to students in University College cork.
Having discovered how special this part of the world is, Tomás’ goal is to share this magic with others!
€188.Includes 2 nights B&B, 1 dinner, 2 packed lunches. €10 single room supplement. Bookable by phone at +353 26 47069 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
5th to the 7th September 2014
Day 1 (Friday)
Arrive at Gougane Barra Hotel and check-in. That night Tomás your guide welcomes you and gives an introduction to the area and its history. We discuss our plans for the weekend, making any adjustments as necessary to suit the individual interests and capabilities of the group.
Day 2 (Saturday)
·Gougane Barra Loop. This high route circles the beautiful valley of Gougane Barra,where Finbarr took spiritual refuge in the 6th century. Starting next to the site of Finbarr’s oratory, we ascend on the south side of the valley and follow the mountains clockwise to the north before descending again into the heart of glen, taking in stunning views of the many surrounding mountains - from the dramatic cliffs of the Borlin Valley to the Paps of Anú, home of Ireland’s most powerful pre-Christian goddess.
·Later that evening we take a relaxed walk around Finbarr’s Oratory and its surrounds,discussing the history and lore of the area, from the tumultuous era of Ireland’s conversion down to the present day.
Day 3 (Sunday) Slí Ghaeltacht Mhúscraí
·After a hearty breakfast we walk along the route used by the forces of O’Sullivan Beare in his epic march through the area some four hundred years ago. This is a more gentle walk than the previous day’s, with the going generally downhill,and we stop along the way to examine prehistoric megaliths, ancient Christian ruins, and medieval history. As well as the physical sights and historical stories encountered along the way, we also learn just how much lore and richness of language are stored in the ancient place names of the area, and we witness a myth in the making in the battle of Céim an Fhia. We end the walk back in Gougane Barra, where we can relax for a final cuppa before saying farewell to each other and to a beautiful and magical part of Ireland!