Sunday, 28 December 2008

Who ate all the Quality Street?

Well Christmas just wouldn't be the same without that huge family tub of chocs now would it? I did feel slightly (just slightly) guilty for eating what was definitely more than my fair share of them, particularly the orange and strawberry cremes, so today I decided to head out for a bit of a walk to burn off some of that cocoa butter.

I still haven't got any decent serviceable trainers so once again was confined to the hiking boots. I had however been planning to walk in the hills around the Corrany Valley with my great-auntie who is a keen hiker, so we fixed up to get out there today. Luckily the weather was on our side and as well as staying dry we even experienced some sunshine.

The Corrany is in the North of the Island and runs between North Barrule and the village of Glen Mona on the Douglas-Ramsey coast road. Despite having been up North Barrule and the surrounding hills before, I had never actually been walking down in the valley where the old mines are situated or on the track by the ruined house at Park Lewellyn.

The valley track from the housing estate itself is now private land and so strictly you are not supposed to walk near up to the mines or to the ancient keeil that lies on the lower slopes of North Barrule. Instead, we walked up the track from the Glen Mona pub (which is a public footpath) and onto the ridge overlooking the valley (which ultimately comes out at the Black Hut.) This gives you a great view down into the valley at the old mine buildings and powder house and is so reminiscent of the old Snaefell and Glen Rushen mines, especially when you try to imagine the journey that the miners must have had in order to get to these remote locations.

We managed a 2-hr walk covering about 5 miles at a leisurely pace, which included a few minutes break to have a look down at the old mine workings and the buildings. I didn't really feel as if I had exerted myself very much and if the forecast for tomorrow proves to be correct, I will be going out again - probably onto the moors around the Mountain Box and Slieau Managh to check on a few more letterboxes after last week's rain.

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