At the foot of the Healy Pass, right on the border of Cork and Kerry, near the village of Lauragh, is the pretty Glanmore Lake.We had to keep our eyes open for the small sign above showing us the way. It was well hidden behind branches but we managed to spot it and cleared away some of the greenery for fellow travelers. The sign also indicates the location of the Shronebirrane Stone Circle. It is very close to the road and easy to see but I would caution visitors about taking a look. Even though we were quietly standing on the public roadway and not near the circle itself, a lady came out of a nearby house and tried to charge each of us for the privilege of looking at it. It isn’t worth the bother, really, as there are far more exquisite examples of stone circles in the area that are accessible and free. It’s not that common for people to try to falsely take advantage of tourists, but it does happen. The lady turned several shades of red when she discovered we were actually locals. We’ve not gone back. (That might change in time however…I’m itching to discover what hides within the Drimminboy Valley which lies beyond the standing stones.)
The lake is tucked into a small, rugged valley. It reminded me of a clear puddle held in the palm of a giant calloused hand. Waterfalls washed down the rocky cliff faces and flowed in serpentine streams into the lake. One could see how desireable it would have been to live here in ancient times. The lake is abundant with spring salmon, summer salmon, and sea trout in August. Fresh water is readily available from the multitude of flowing springs and the rugged hills offer their brooding protection. The Croansaght River flows out to the sea which would have been a blessing for travel. Although some people consider the lake to be somewhat gloomy, I think for others it must have been heaven on earth.
This thought was illustrated by the pleasant surprise of discovering an old hermitage on a tiny island in the middle of the lake. If there was ever a place to live in seclusion, Glanmore Lake would have been an ideal choice.
We decided to travel to the end of the road and turn around. It wasn’t a long jaunt, and was well worth the drive. The scenery unfolded into an even more hilly landscape, punctuated by thick ferns and lofty, enormous cedar trees. Cascading waterfalls can be seen flowing from the mountain tops in the distance. Unfortunately the mist has obscured the view in the photo below, but you can still get a sense of the richness of the landscape.