Tourism Pure Walking Holidays

Guided Walking Holidays in Mayo & Connemara, Ireland

 

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Posts tagged with: 'outdoors'

Importance of Connecting with Nature

Are we and our kids spending too much time indoors?

While today’s electronic devices bring many great advantages of connectivity and learning, they are contributing to a serious diminishing of our connection with the outdoors. There can be little doubt about the importance of connecting with nature, yet, as a society, we seem to be turning our backs. Taking a regular walk in nature is good for the heart, body and soul and it is vital that we pass this message on to the next generation.

As somebody who goes hiking often, I know there’s something powerful and uplifting in getting my hands dirty in the bogs, wet in the cold rivers, or simply feeling the roughness of mountain rocks on my palms. Watching a Kestrel hover, as I did just yesterday, enjoying frolicking Foxes playing through the fields, or listening to the roar of the Red Deer during the rut are important life experiences to me.

Then there’s the extra special treat of strolling among trees. More than simply walking, being within a forest brings great joy, peace and perspective. It brings disconnection from the humdrum of the daily chore and replaces it with the importance of connecting with nature. There’s something wondrous about being a little short-lived human among giant trees, much bigger and older than you will ever achieve. It’s in some way liberating.

Importance of Connecting with Nature

Do you know the difference between Whitethorn and Blackthorn?

So, get down to the sea on a windy winter’s day and feel the power of nature blow the cobwebs off your face, to the soundtrack of crashing waves. Visit a tranquil lake on a balmy summer’s afternoon and absorb the cacophony of bird and insect life, all under the whiff of blossoming wildflowers.

Ultimately, our disconnection with nature doesn’t just mean we’ve lost touch with the outdoors and our fellow inhabitants of Planet Earth. It also leads to ignorance and disinterest. Why should we care about habitat loss and species extinction if we no longer have a connection?

Therein lies the problem and the challenge.

Recognising the importance of connecting with nature brings joy and loads of energy. Seeing how ‘nature’ and ‘us’ are so deeply interconnected can lead to only one conclusion. We are nature. There is no ‘them’ and ‘us’. There is no separation. We must understand that we humans are part of life on this planet, just like the beetles, bats and birds.

Importance of Connecting with Nature – Resources

The most obvious and useful resources to reconnect with nature are your feet, public transport, bike or car. Just get out there, find a nice spot like a forest, bog, local park or beach and go walk. Or discover one of our National Parks.

Other than that, join some organised events run by organisations like Birdwatch Ireland and many others.

Get dirty, wet and enjoy!

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Greenway Cycleway Extension Coming Soon

The Greenway / Cycleway, currently running between Newport and Mulranny, will soon be opened along its full length from Westport to Achill, giving a 42-km long almost entirely off-road cycling and walking (hiking) route here in West Mayo.

The Greenway traces the old disused railway line from Westport mainline train station to the terminal at Achill Sound, situated just before the bridge over to the island itself. The railway was in place from 1894 to 1937 and its most famous feature is undoubtedly the magnificent viaduct over the Newport River in the village of the same name.

In 2010, the Greenway was opened and became successful immediately, with many locals joined by growing numbers of tourists using it for exercise and as a day-trip tourism facility. There are at least three providers of bicycles for hire, based in Westport or Newport.

There is a map of the currently open stretch of the Greenway here.

April 2011 should see the full opening of the line and I look forward to seeing if other cycle hire businesses spring up at the Achill end of the line, to provide competition to those based around Westport.

There are also plans to develop a walkway / cycleway from Castlebar, through Islandeady, out to meet the Greenway perhaps at Westport. That would be a longer term project and would surely take several years to realise. It would certainly be an interesting extension.

If you are thinking of making the Westport – Newport – Achill area your base for an outdoors activity break in 2011, then do consider coming along on one of my entirely off-road guided walking events in the hills and bogs of the same area. Take a look at my events on this website. You’d be most welcome to come hillwalking in West Mayo.

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Family Fun Orienteering, Moore Hall

Orienteering in Mayo, Moore Hall, Tourism Pure Walking Holidays

Family Fun Orienteering, Moore Hall, Co. Mayo

Saturday, January 29th, will see our first Family Fun Orienteering event of 2011. Come along to Moore Hall, outside Carnacon, south Mayo, for a few hours outdoor fun with the children.

Meeting time is 2 pm at the car park. Bring warm clothes and decent footwear, plus your camera. If you are not familiar with Moore Hall, the ground is a mix of reasonable forest tracks, some smaller tracks and some rough trails through the trees. Small children in buggies are most welcome, although they won’t be able to go everywhere.

Please call or leave a comment here if you would like to come along. There is a charge of Euro 15 per family.

Tel. 094 – 9027797.  Mob. 086 – 8318748

Location :

Moore Hall is just outside Carnacon on the shores of Lough Carra in south Mayo. Driving south from Castlebar on the Ballinrobe road, there in a brown tourist sign to the left at Ballintubber, showing Ballintubber Abbey and Moore Hall on it.

At the Abbey, the road swings left 90 degrees. At the first cross roads, turn right. Drive on to Carnacon village, where you turn right again. At the next junction, turn right before the little bridge. Moore Hall car park is on the right, after 300 m.

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