Backpacking in the Wild Nephin Wilderness

Three days hiking and camping in the Wild Nephin Range in Mayo.

 The romantic notion of spending days sauntering through Ireland’s last wilderness was inspired in a local bookshop where I stumbled across a copy of “The Way that I Went” by the Irish Naturalist, Robert Lloyd Praeger, who described the area as the loneliest place in the country.After reading Praeger’s book, published in 1937, I was curious to discover if it was really possible to find an area of true wilderness in our little country. I was curious to learn if one could get some measure of the experiences of the great epic explorers in far away places right here on our own doorstep. The Nephin Beg wilderness, sited on the western seaboard in northwest Mayo, is the remotest and most desolate place in Ireland. If there is a wilderness to be found in Ireland, then this has to be the place to find it. This area jealously guards itself from outsiders by it’s harsh weather — being one of the wettest parts of the country — and, when it warms up, being protected by a battalion of Midges. But occasionally it opens itself up and welcomes the lonely adventurer into a land of pristine beauty and tranquillity. 

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