Planning a walk out on the Sperrin mountains was meant to be a way to pinpoint the location for the beginning of the residency coming up in March. The day before the heavens had opened and our hope for a clear day looked very bleak. But undetered 4 of us – Brónagh, Sandra and Bridget and I (Gail) met at 12pm at the Ponderosa, Ireland highest pub sitting at 1000ft above sea level which sits snuggly along the roadside of the Glenshane Pass.
According to my map we were to start in Moneyneana, small village heading towards Draperstown, so we jumped in one car and parked up in a chucrh carpark just at the central crossroads to the village. The plan was it would be only a 2hrs venture along clear pathways, back home by 3pm. 4.5 hrs later we returned to the car in Moneyneana. But along the way, dandering up winding roads, ploughing through bogland and clambering over wooden stiles, we passed views that overlooked the furtherest corners of Northern Ireland in all directions – a geologicial timespan just some 600 milion years in the making! Something I wouldn’t have known existed until was there until it was infront of me.
The sunset views of the mountain ranges nearing Crockbrack summit exposed the location of secret hidden lough of Lough Ouske. We found the spot for the residency – we did all stop for a moment, weary and bit concerned of the dimming sunlight, but we looked at each other and agreed. This is it. Here this is the spot to get lost in.