Expedition 116 - 24th July 2004
Mingarry


The forecast was shocking and it poured - I was amazed to get ten explorers on such a day: Abbie, Alexander, Allan, Benjamin P., Benjamin T., Chloe, Donald, Ruth, Sarah and Thomas, Benjamin T and Ruth being new explorers (Ruth wisely bringing an umbrella). We also had three helpers: Chris, Pamela and Philippa with dogs Brucie and Ellie to protect us.

We parked at Mingarry Hall and had a look at the horses before we went through the gate and up the path into the wood. We saw at some old drainage tiles where the track used to be, before crossing some cultivation ridges and following an old wall up to the top of the wood where there were three old houses. We examined the houses and some of the boys found us a convenient gap where we crossed the top fence onto open ground just in time to catch a really heavy shower.

We found the rough track outside the field boundary wall and followed it up the hill, getting wetter all the time. Just before the top there were some cattle looking at us over the fence, amazed to get company on a day like that.

At the top of the hill was the bridge said to have been build by Domnhuill Dubh Laitir and everyone had a good look at it, but the stream was too high to look underneath. The rain let up a bit and we stopped for a break at the toad rock.

We went across the hill, passing the tracks made by quad bikes on the training course, and looked at a nice old house site with a garden and two big trees. Then we moved through the village to the base of an old bridge and another group of ancient buildings.

At this point we should have tuned and gone back up the hill into the east wood to look at another settlement, but everyone was starting to look like drowned rats and I decided to head back to the road, stopping at the spooky tree on the way down.

John Dye


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