BSW1 12. In the footsteps of monks

Oct 21, 02:56 PM

Speaker: Sean McMahon
From the Bluestack Way - Part 1 playlist.

Directions
 You'll be coming up to a crossroads here. You'll be carrying on over the road skirting past the Lough Eske Castle estate on your right. As always, there's a signpost for The Bluestack Way to help you. In the links section on the right hand column, we've listed the three best accommodations to stay in around Lough Eske, Friary Brae Cottage (self catering), EasDun B&B or Rhu Gorse B&B.
 
 Walking Hub
 The newest development in walking in this area, was the decision by Failte Ireland to choose Donegal Town as one of its dedicated Walking Hubs in 2009. They choose five areas throughout the country as Walking Centres of Excellence which guarantee they are Walking Friendly and offer the walker a second to none service. The other hubs in the country are Tinnahealy, Ballyvaughan, Aherlow and the Slieve Blooms. On November 24th 2012, Failte Ireland handed over the control of the hub to a steering committee and it is now up to the tourist industry in the locality to make the most of this unique opportunity.
 
 Walking in Lough Eske and the Bluestacks has now become mostly a recreational activity, although a few farmers still traverse these hills in the pursuit of their livelihood. Today the people who take to these hills mostly go for the exercise, for the peace and quiet, and the sense of being at one with nature. We may not be any different from the Druids and Monks who first went into these hills, hundreds and even thousands of years ago. Maybe after all we are still on the same journey, looking for the same things and it is no coincidence that we go to the same places to try and find the answers. As the old saying goes “the more things change, the more they remain the same”.

Lough Eske geology
Speaking of slow change, it is possible that Lough Eske owes its location to the juxtaposition of the 325 million year old Carboniferous rocks on the western side and the 600 million year old Precambrian rocks on the eastern side of the lough. The contact between the two represents a weakness, which has been exploited by erosion to create the depression in which Lough Eske is formed.
 
 The concept of time is often difficult to deal with regarding the processes of the earth. The oldest rock in the south Donegal region is 600 million years old and forms many of the hills of the Bluestack mountains. If the time period of 600 million years is condensed into a single day, then the Ice Age ended about two seconds to midnight and humans first appeared about one second to midnight.

 Another interesting facet of the countryside was the widely held belief in piseogs - in our audio piece, we tell you more about this curious phenomenon which has declined significantly in recent years, but would have been well practised in this valley at one time.