Mini- Greenway & Gort’s Golden Mile

My last post covered a little treasure in Gort, which I aptly called Gort’s Mini-Greenway. As it happens, this Greenway also connects to Gort’s Golden Mile, making it a loop.. Yes… I think many of you will take note, as who doesn’t like a looped walk/cycle  ( followed by cake I hear you ask?).

So where is this loop?

So you follow the instructions from last time here. Instead of turning left to head to Coole Park( for cake: ) ) you turn right, and head over the bridge.

Out of a practical point of view. I would recommend you first do the Mini-Greenway, as most of it is downhill. However If you are looking to strengthen your quads, best do it anti-clockwise. ( Did you know your quads are your strongest muscles ?)

Once you come to the main road, cross it, and within a short distance you will see an arrow for the L85313 to your left

Arrow on the main Road

Arrow on the main Road

Image of arrow for L85311

Arrow for L85313

Take that turn and as you walk down the hill your view will be like this!

View on the L85313

L85313 Road ( view as coming from Kinincha)

L85313 grazing cows

Grazing cows L85313

As you walk on this road, you will see a sign for Gort’s Golden Mile!

Image of Gort Golden Mile sign

Gort’s Golden Mile & connection with the mini-greenway

The road surface changes to a a dirt track. If you were on bikes you could cycle, but dismounting your bike for a short while may work better. This track is about a mile, and is beautiful as you can see from the pictures below.

Dirt Track
Stone walls Gort’s Golden Mile
Gort’s Golden Mile
Gort’s Golden Mile
Gort’s Golden Mile( view coming from Kinincha)
Fields

As your walk progress you’ll come to the end of the road, with a beautiful thatched cottage on your left.

Image of a thatched Cottage on Kinincha Road

Thatched Cottage Kinincha Road

Stop for a moment and listen, you’ll hear the river flowing ahead of you. It’s currently NOT safe to descend to the river there, but there are (big) plans for a river walk in Gort.

Gort’s Golden Mile & the river in the back ground.

The only way to go is right, heading back to Gort, the river flowing to your left.  This road is tarmacked.

As you walk on that road, you will find the Planning application for a Gas Bio Plant on your right. To find out more about this Bio Plant, check out a very detailed article on why the location of the proposed site is not suitable.

Image of Site Notice Gort Bio Gas Plant

Site Notice Gort Bio Gas Plant
Proposed site for Bio Gas Plant
Proposed site for Bio Gas Plant

You’ll walk past access to farmland on your left, which , if you head that way, brings you to a fence .

If you venture passed the fence, make sure you close it, as cattle/horses are kept there from time to time, so be careful. Once in the field, if you head straight, you will see/hear the river. I was there not so long ago during a weekly walk of the Kinincha Road and I was taken by its beauty as you can see from the pictures below.

Track leading to Farm Gate

Anyway, back to the Kinincha Road:)

As I was doing the walk in September, there were blueberries, slow berries, Rosehip and so much more blooming, it was amazing.

Kinincha Road
Kinincha Road
Kinincha Road
Kinincha Road
Kinincha Road

You will see a plant on the left which I am guessing is some kind of a depot for salt( or something else – I have no idea) and further down the Waste Water recycling plant.

From then on, for a split moment, you are away from busy Gort and walking on a country road with country views!

Once you are the bottle banks, you are nearly back to where you started, the Lidl Car Park. Who knew:) You can then head into Gort for cake:)

You could also do a looped walk, starting at Lidl, go straight , take a left at the cottage, go straight, and when you come to the main road, take a left road( you are now on the old main road ) and head back to Gort( which is in fact the walk I did). I took some pictures on my way back to Gort, I particularly liked the horse that come over to say hello:).  If you do the looped walk, it’s another way of getting your 10 000 steps. The looped walk is just under 5 kms.

Horse

As a  side note, there is ( unfortunately) still a lot of dumping on the Kinincha Road, and I have passed on the pictures to the council. I am hopeful that, once the council installs proper CCTV, it will stop the dumping.

Katleen

PS. Check out below drone video of the walk!



Drone view of Gort’s Golden mile by David Murray Check out this blog https://southgalwayvision.wordpress.com

Exploring Gort’s mini-greenway

Hello all,

Did you know Gort has its very own greenway ? A friend of mine mentioned there is a safe way to cycle from Gort to Coole Park. This was totally new to me, and until then I had never known about it. So I set out to find out. I have called it Gort’s mini – greenway! Greenways are ever so popular these days, so I am hoping the title of this blog post will trigger enough curiosity for people to explore it. It’s mini, as it’s not very long, but it IS there, ready to be explored. So where is this mini – greenway???

Karen and myself setting out for our cycle

Start of our trip

We met up at the Supervalue’s Carpark in Gort ( hello Karen!!), so we could easily unload our bikes.

We then headed for the roundabout , taking the slip road L85311, which runs parallel with the motorway.

Image of the L85311 exit

Taking the exit L85311

There is a bit of bend in the road, and a steep descent. You’ll feel your bike picking up speed!

coming down the road

Karen going down the hill, the view is amazing.

view coming down the hill

The road then gets a bit bumpy and narrow and when you come to the end of the road, you take a right.. ( Taking a left isn’t really an option, as there is a fence).

As you take the right, you are on a gravel road, with fences on both sides.

gravel road Gort's mini-greenway

Image of Gort's mini-greenway

 

Apart from a tractor, we didn’t come across any traffic.

tractor on Gort's mini-greenway

 

At the end of the straight stretch,  there is another bend, and then you come to a fork, you take a right.

As you cycle along you’ll pass a few houses and a ruin of an old house, it would be interesting to find out what this building once was. As you look at the ruin, you can see the bridge over the motorway to your right.

image of an old ruin on Gort's mini-greenway

overlooking the bridge over the motorway

You are now on the road/avenue that leads to … Coole Park. You’ll see the new bridge over the motorway on your right.

straight ahead for coole park, bridge behind you

Now all you need to do is cycle/walk to Coole Park. Head for the Tea rooms, I hear they are serving coffee/tea/cakes and lots of other goodies. Check out their Facebook page to their latest menu.

This Cycle/walk is just over 4 kms. from Gort to Coole Park.

Next time I’ll show you how this route connects with the Golden Mile in Gort…

Happy cycling!

Katleen

 

Homecoming Galway Seniors and the M17/M18 Cycle

Hi all,

Well, well,  what I week, that’s all I can say! Unless you have been living under a rock( or maybe you live outside of Ireland and are not familiar with hurling), the all- Ireland Senior hurling championships took place last Sunday between Waterford and Galway and the Galway team won!!  It’s been 29 years since Galway won the  Liam MacCarthy cup , so there was plenty of reason for celebrations in and around Galway. A homecoming for the Galway Seniors was organized, starting at Pearse Stadium in Galway City, then onto Clarinbridge, Loughrea and a final stop at St-Thomas’s pitch. St-Thomas’s GAA club is the home club of David Burke ( the captain), so it really was a homecoming. As St-Thomas is so near to where I live, I went over to go and take a look. As you can see, I wasn’t alone! There was an amazing atmosphere, lot’s of people cheering and singing! When David Burke did his speech, you could hear a needle drop – to hear his speech go to 23 minutes into the video.

It was one of the first times I experimented with a Facebook live event on my page workinglivingtravellinginireland, and 150 tuned into the video. Very quickly the video had a reach of 2000 people. At this point in time it has been viewed by well over 7000 people and has had a reach of 16000. It really is amazing what you can do with a mobile phone!

Today was the Great Western Motorway cycle, offering cyclists a one off opportunity to cycle the soon-to-be-opened M17/M18 Motorway that will connect Gort to Tuam. I was here in 2010 when the Gort to Crusheen bypass opened. At the time I was working in Shannon, which took about an hour on a very windy road and dangerous bends( I am sure some of you will remember the very dangerous bend at Crusheen). After the opening, this journey became significantly easier and shorter, getting me to Shannon in less than 45 minutes. By 2015, Directroute started works on the long awaited Gort to Tuam Motorway with an expected finish date of early 2018. The new motorway is just over 50 kilometers long, and will offer much needed traffic congestion relief for travellers, bypassing the main bottleneck of Clarinbridge in South Galway and Claregalway in North Galway to get to Galway city and also connecting with the M6 to Dublin. Here is map of the new motorway.

Image of the Gort to Tuam Motorway from the http://www.directroutegorttotuam.ie website

It’s been very exciting to see the works progress, new bridges being built and watching some YouTube video made me realize that this was not easy job, with the vast amounts of limestone that needed to get blasted.  Here is just one of the videos I found on Youtube:

The Motorway is due to open ahead of schedule on the 27th of September! We went over to the Gort side of the cycle and spoke with some cyclists and the ladies of the Gort Lions club. 

It was very windy ( and relatively dry), I can’t say the same of the weather later in the day. 17 more days to go, and the Motorway will officially open!

Blustery greetings from Galway,

Katleen

 

 

 

 

 

My new short commute into Galway from Oranmore!

Hello all,

As I am still working on a few small business interviews, I thought I’d write a blog post on the travelling part on this blog.

Some of you readers may be looking at job opportunities in Galway City ( Go check out the Job Expo event, 11th of Feb)and deciding where to live, and may not be familiar with the traffic congestion in and around Galway. Gridlock in the city is not getting any better and may start to affect investment in Galway as this article suggests or workers choose to work elsewhere to spend more time with their families. Although I don’t quite see a resolution for the city gridlock at peak times, there are some positive developments for the bottlenecks south of the city.

There is the long awaited motorway between Gort and Tuam, due to open as early as November this year, 3 months ahead of plan. I drive past the roadworks every day, and it’s starting to look like a motorway! And then there is the option to commute by train/bus if you are living south of Galway City.

Gort to Tuam Motorway www.galwaybayfm.ie

This motorway will allow traffic to flow freely from Gort onwards into Galway, bypassing the bottlenecks at Kilcolgan, Clarinbridge and Oranmore. ( If there is a sizable funeral in Clarinbridge you can add 1 hour to your journey, unless you know the dark backroads in that area). once complete, Gort will be + -30 minutes from Galway City, and just over 40 minutes from Shannon Airport.

So I started to work in Galway City in May ( I live just under 30 kms south of Galway, also known as the Burren Low Lands)and and was all excited about getting the train from Ardrahan into Galway.

The morning trains worked out great ( leave 7:23 AM, arrive 8:10 AM), the evenings less so, as the first train that would work for me was at 5:50 PM, arrive 6:40 PM which was too long of day for me. So I resorted to drive into Galway by car and park (55 Euros a month), joining the thousands of other commuters. To avoid traffic in the mornings, I had to leave the house at 7 AM to hit Galway City at around 7:40 AM. The evenings were not so pleasant, even if I left the office at 4:30 PM I was never home before 6 PM. Christmas traffic was particularly heavy, some evenings my commute was more than 2 hours and a half…. I was not a happy camper.

A colleague of mine mentioned that he was thinking of getting the train from Oranmore and that there were more regular trains. So I went to investigate what trains there were to Galway, and more particularly what trains there are from Galway to Oranmore as it was that part of my day that really was making me miserable. Check out the  website called “Transport for Ireland” to get all transport options near you, I would recommend you take a look at the app, it’s quite good, and gives you  live options,options you may not have been aware of. Below is the most up to date timetable from Oranmore to Galway and back.

Galway - Oranmore - Galway

There is an Oranmore Special Fare – We have a special adult day return fare from Oranmore to Galway for €6 and a special child day return for €4. This is only available from Oranmore to Galway and not in the opposite direction (Info from Irishrail’s website). Best to check with your employer if they offer tickets under the taxsaver scheme.

So now I leave the house at 7:30 AM, park my car( free so far) at the Railway station in Oranmore, and get the 8 O’clock train, getting me into Galway City at 8:10. The evenings are quicker( downhill?), leaving Galway city at 5:20 PM to be in Oranmore at 5:27 PM, getting me home around 6 PM. It really has made a difference for me, and every evening when I step on the train, I smile to myself, and think it’s the best #7minutecommute ever and grateful I am out of my previous commuter hell!

Have a great weekend!

Katleen

 

 

We are blue, we are white, we are dynamite!

Hello all,

We waved 2015 farewell and welcomed 2016! My best wishes to you and yours for 2016! Congrats to those that are still sticking with their new year’s resolutions, commiseration to those that have already lapsed, oh well, you are still a good person:).

I am back to work, and during breakfast my eldest son asked me if I knew the slogan of the Ardrahan hurlers, and I said I didn’t. He was very quick to remind me that it is: We are blue , we are white, we are dynamite!

I choose the above title, as I thought it symbolizes the spirit of the people in this area.

We tend to have storms in the winter, and this year we have been “treated” to a few too many ! I wrote about #Stormdesmond in a previous post  and since #stormdesmond we have had #stormeve and the most recent one was #stormfrank, and unfortunately #stormfrank was the drop that made the bucket overflow, quite literally, as many were forced to leave their houses and farms due to flooding.

We are no strangers to flooding, as some areas (traditionally) get flooded, and you’ll see lakes that aren’t there during the summer. The area of Labane/Peterswell/Kiltartan was badly affected by floods in 2009, and I will never forget the community spirit I saw in 2009. People were marooned in, kids couldn’t go to schools, animals were separated from their owners, and couldn’t be fed. I saw people get together, assist each other to bring food and supplies to those marooned in, offer tractor rides, and get together to pump water out of houses.

Local vet being towed in a boat to see to some sick cattle

Local vet being towed in a boat to see to some sick cattle in ’09

It was one of the most frightening experiences I ever went through,  especially when the road that connects us with the main road was flooded and we were effectively marooned in, the road at Kiltartan was flooded and Gort was not passable. My husband wasn’t able to get to work, as all main roads were flooded.

Fast forward to 2016, and unfortunately the same is happening. I took below video at the same place.

A local aerial photographer Sean Brady took following footage, to give you an idea of the extend of the flooding.

Flooding

Posted by Sean Brady Aerial Photography. on Monday, 28 December 2015

A number of dignitaries visited Labane/Ardrahan today, including the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins. Our youngest son was all set to meet him and get his signature, and his wish got fulfilled, and my husband was interviewed for the radio.

Glad to see that some local(rival) politicians  Ciaran Cannon and Joe Byrne got together to dig a channel to ease some of the flooding in the Kiltartan area , so water can flow into the sea at Kinvara. You can check out the picture and video here.

It’s not over yet, and hopefully the rain will stay away,   the water can flow back to the sea or  evaporate and a strategy can be developed to deal with such disasters. If you are affected by  the floods, you can apply for emergency funds here. If you would like to support those affected by the floods, you can donate to the Irish Red Cross here.

For my part, small business is always on my mind, and is the backbone of many communities in Ireland. Getting your business featured  to a greater public or talked about in local media/TV/Radio is difficult,  is hard to measure and is very costly.  I have decided to start talking to small business in the West of Ireland, listen to their stories , challenges and successes ,and hope that this will contribute to creating more awareness of what small business has to offer in the West of Ireland. if you are a small business in the West of Ireland, get in touch by emailing me katleen@workinglivingtravellinginireland.com.  It will be the best email you have sent in 2016:)

Cheers,

Katleen