Lough Derg St Patrick’s Purgatory

This morning I was looking at the last time I posted something on my blog and thought it’s a shame I haven’t captured some of the amazing adventures I’ve had over the last couple of months.

Thinking it’s about time and planning to write about what I find today, I couldn’t have imagined what I was going to stumble across.

Not wanting to explore too far away after my 2 hour drive from home to the The Lakehouse, I opened Google maps and looked at the surrounding area. I found a lake about 20 minutes away which looked like it had some paths I could cycle on.

The Sanctuary

I arrived at the pin on the map to find an official looking car park which looked like it belonged to a church.

I didn’t want to get the bike out of the car until I knew what was here.

St Patrick with Purgatory in the background

I have a soft spot for buildings on islands, having fallen in love with Alcatraz. This view was spectacular and such a surprise.

Lough Derg

Lough Derg is a small island and is variously called Lough Derg (Lake of the Cave), Purgatorium Sancti Patricii (St Patrick’s Sanctuary or Purgatory).

Stories about Lough Derg and the legendary Three Day Pilgrimage have spanned the centuries and as far back as records go, have been associated with St Patrick

Visitor centre

I saw the Pilgrims Path map and sign post and knew I had to follow the path.

After checking that cycling was allowed, I carried my bike over the gate and off I went.

There were plenty of photo opportunities and I’m pretty sure the first 5km took me half an hour due to stops.

These Lough Derg values along the path really spoke to me today, each having a deep and powerful meaning allowing me to Pause and Ponder…

Lough Derg Values along the Pilgrims way

I followed the path which made a great 12km route.

The flame of faith, hope and love once lit in Ireland by St Patrick in the fifth century, continues to be rekindled year after year by generations of pilgrims families.

All in all a very successful trip out this afternoon.

It looks like this loop is part of forestry service and there are a number of tracks heading up into the forest.

As this area is so close I will have to return to see what else I can find.

My bike and I really are such as adventurers these days.

I must commit to taking more pictures and post information on all the recent rides I’ve found in Fermanagh and surroundings.

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