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Through the Sligo Way and into the woods to an outdoor cinema

Monday 8 April 2013

No one believes me, but the weather in Leitrim for the last few weeks has been amazing. Amazing! London has been covered with a constant fog of snow and dismay, and Dublin has been no better. But little old Leitrim, ignored by everyone, was aglow with bright blue skies and sunshine. 

Yesterday was the same, which was lucky, as I was heading into the woods for Thrill to Chill, the second event organised by local group Rennafix. Last year, we hiked from Slish Wood across the Sligo Way for a secret cinema evening. Yesterday, they got a little bit bolder, with a bbq, camp and yoga session the next day. Alas, I was working until late on the Saturday so couldn't join in the 2.5 hour hike (HA!). But we walked from the car park, at LEAST 20 minutes. So there's that. 

I'd never walked far into Slish Wood. I'd walked along the path a little, when my friend and her boyfriend and Cletus the Foetus were visiting. But she was waddling, so we only walked for a few minutes along the lake front. 

There are few things as beautiful as Loch Gill on a still, sunny day. Little islands dot along the way, steep slopes slide into little stony beaches, and thick green moss covers the side of the mountains. It's stunning. 

What I'd never heard of is the clearing about 30 minutes in. There's an old stone hut which doubles as a bar, a huge expanse of grass leading down to the lake itself. And this is where Thrill to Chill took place.

When we arrived, the hikers and the cyclists were pretty much all there, and the Stand Up Paddle Boarders were gliding along the mill pond to the little beach. Tents were set up, beers were opened, and we settled by the fire. 

And that's where I stayed. I didn't even watch the film, which was kind of the whole point. But it was Avatar, and I object on moral grounds to that film because I was pipped to the post by an Avatar at a Halloween fancy dress. Stupid Avatar. 

There's nothing better than an open fire, a clear night and good company. It can't be beaten. 

You can keep an eye on the Rennafix facebook page for upcoming events, but you can of course explore the Sligo Way at any time. I'm not saying that Avatar will be shown in the clearing, or guarantee the sun will shine, of course. But you will have a lovely walk.

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