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The Barley Lake

TRAVEL ESSAY

How a harmelss trip can turn into a fight against wind and weather in no time.

Lake Barley in two attempts.

 

Barley Lake, County Cork, Irland, Lars Hauck

A beautiful and isolated glacial corrie lake in the Caha Mountains.
The ideal place for the ultimate feeling of solitude and wilderness.
It can be reached on foot, by bike and, although so remote, by car.
The road is quite adventurous and steep.
My first encounter with this lake was in extremely bad weather and that's exactly what this little travelogue is about.

Glengarriff Woods Reserve, Barley Lake, County Cork, Irland, Lars Hauck

First try:

 

After a rainy hike through the Glengarriff Woods Nature Reserve, I decided to drive up to Barley Lake and continue hiking there.​ I was a bit frozen and the ride in the car promised some warm-up.


The road turned out to be a challenge itself. It is quite narrow and steep and the rain was really strong, the visibility also deteriorated rapidly.

The water came down in streams on the road and after every 180 degree turn it was not so easy to drive up the steep hill and not let the tires spin or risk stalling the engine because the water made the road really slippery.

I realized that the weather was definitely too intense to enjoy the hike and I would have liked to quit if there was a chance to turn around.

This possibility did not exist and as I could not see how the terrain was left and right of the road I was increasingly queasy, also the car was now shaken by gusts of wind pretty well.

In addition, the navigation system in the car did not know the road anymore, so for the system I was driving off-road, and I was missing any information where I actually was.

When I recognized a kind of small parking lot through the rain I was very relieved - the turning was secured.

I put on rubber boots, rain pants and a poncho. I should have preferred to stay inside the car.

The car door was literally torn out of my hand - I was suddenly two steps away from the car - the storm lifted the poncho over my head, I could barely grasp it - now it struggled against the wind and began to beat me.

​I fought the wind to the open car door finally managed to get into the car and pulled the door against the wind with all my strength.

 

This whole action took no more than twenty, maybe thirty seconds.

Barley Lake, County Cork, Irland, Lars Hauck

I had put on several layers - a T-shirt, a hoodie a sweater and a jacket. That all was completely soaked, even in the rubber boots was water.

I spread the things for drying in the car and took extra clothes on, while the car was repeatedly shaken by sudden gusts of wind.

How suddenly a harmless excursion could turn into a fight with the elements outside of civilization over impressed me and made me think too.

​As fast as the storm came, it was gone and I experienced wonderful weather and lots of sunshine on the same day as well.

Second try:

A few days later I was on my way from Kenmare to Glengarriff. 

Shortly after the pass I discovered Lake Barley on a mountain range on the other side of a large valley.

I had a good view on the road that seemed to lead up to the lake. ​Since everything looked so peaceful and visibility was good, I spontaneously decided to repeat my trip to Lake Barley.

Barley Lake, County Cork, Irland, Lars Hauck

On the map, I saw that there was a straight road down the hill that would eventually lead to the road to Lake Barley.

 I drove down the hill, the road was getting steeper and narrower, covered with layers of wet autumn foliage.

 I began to worry about whether the road would turn into a dirt road on a boggy meadow and became very doubtful whether the car would make it up the steep road up the mountain on this wet slippery foliage.

But before I had figured out what it would be like to get stuck somewhere in the middle of nowhere with the car, this lush road would suddenly turn into a more stable road and everything was fine again. 

 The drive up to the lake was beautiful and I enjoyed the panorama.

 

The lake itself is an incredibly beautiful glacial corrie lake, lying in a  pristine landscape which offers magnificent views and a very present silence.

Hey,

 

I am glad you drop by!

I am Lars, constantly plagued by wanderlust and I do have a preference

for spontaneous individual trips, outdoor adventures and road trips.

...feel free to join me on my endless journey in the moments I like to share within...

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