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Derroura – Halloween Horror (weather)

November 5, 2011

On Sunday 30th October I went for a daytrip to the Derroura trail in Galway.  The national weather forecast was good, apart from ‘persistent rain in western coastal areas’.  I should have listed to that bit – after driving in beautiful sunshine from Dublin through the midlands, as soon as I hit Galway the rain was not just persistent but torrential for most of the afternoon!  Sadly, this meant that the promised beautiful views of Lough Corrib and the Maum Mountains were hidden behind a shroud of mist.  But it is still a great ride, very rocky over mostly well drained trails with over 1km of very slippy timber tracks.

The trail starts out at a small carpark on the north side of Lough Bofin, a narrow little lake between two ridges in typical west Galway countryside.  Lough Corrib is on the northern side of the main ridge.

As the trail rose, everything around disappeared into the mist, I could have been anywhere, but the trail was still very easy to follow.

With local weather conditions in mind, its well built and drained with lots of little bridges and culverts, with the surface alternating between stony hardcore and rock slabs.

Near the top, where there should be wonderful views over Lough Corrib, the trail is hewn out of the hillside in a surprisingly crude way.

The local sheep looked on with the usual ovine amusement. I photographed them from a distance, thinking they’d run off, but they actually just stood there as I rode past, no doubt wondering why anyone would voluntarily come out in this weather. Or maybe they were admiring my new bike.

There were just a handful of riders out that day. This girl was out with her father (who had zoomed on ahead). She seemed surprised at my complaints about the weather. ‘Sure its always like this up here!’ she said.

On the descent, there were long sections of timber trail, treacherously wet and slippy, but still quite rideable and fun.

Its a really nice trail, definitely worth coming back to if it ever stops raining. The final section is particularly good, a long looping and undulating descent through woodland and across stretches of rock strewn bogland. I enjoyed it so much I looped around and did it five times! The final section is ideal for someone who wants an easier ‘beginners’ route to ride- its not signposted or indicated on the maps, but you just have to follow the initial forest road from the carpark, but instead of following the first trail marker on the right, look left, and there is another marker pointing to the final stretch.

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