GI SOTA Trip - Activation #10 - Belmore Mountain GI/SW-002 - Wednesday 1st June 2016
This one was a shorter walk than the earlier Tullybrack GI/SW-003, but still long enough to require considerable effort. The drive between the two was extremely short and quick, and we were soon parked a short distance into the Belmore Forest. Soon into the walk we diverted to have a look at Pollnagollum's Cave and waterfall. Then it was back to a bit of a slog up the fairly steep forest road before turning left at H119422. A further 1.5km of track brought us to the edge of the forest, but a point where we needed to battle through branches and bog before emerging onto open land.
There was now about 40m of ascent over three quarters of a kilometre to the summit, and it had a touch of the "Sighty Crag" about it - you keep going but the target never seems to come any nearer! I don't know whether it made me feel encouraged or discouraged when I noticed Jimmy setting his antenna up as I continued my slow plod.
Neither of us had particularly good activations at the summit, but we did both qualify. For me it was four QSOs on 40m CW, while Jimmy did two each on 2m FM and 40m SSB. It was pretty clear by now that our alerted intention of an EI summit as a third one for the day was not feasible. Certainly not if we wanted to eat again at the excellent Sperrins Restaurant anyway. We concentrated simply on getting back to the car - a tough walk of around 4km - and then the long drive back to Omagh.
That long drive out of County Fermanagh and into County Tyrone actually meant that we had even less time than we imagined, so no third activation was possible, not even a "drive-on" summit. Furthermore, I was too tired and had no appetite for more walking and radio! A refreshing shower then some nice beer and food was much more appealing!
The pints of Guinness were particularly devoured when they arrived at the Sperrin Restaurant. Dinner was top quality again. Jimmy started with Sperrin style potato skin followed by chicken and bacon. I went for stuffed mushrooms followed by Chicken Maryland. Oh, and more cold refreshing Guinness - delicious. Finally back to the B&B and in bed - and fast asleep - before 10pm. It would be a return to a four summit day tomorrow, starting with Curraghchosaly Mountain GW/SM-010.