The Hymany Way is a 50km trail in Galway, beginning in Portumna and ending in Aughrim. It is a section of the longer Beara Breifne Way and is usually completed over two days. We weren’t feeling quite that adventurous, so we just did a smaller section of the walk from Portumna to Meelick, which is approx 15km and estimated to be 3 – 4 hrs. In the end it took us about 4.5 hrs. As always, we were stopping often to take photos and video, holding up my parents who joined us and ended up waiting for us a lot!
Unless you can organise a lift, you’ll need two cars to complete this walk or you’ll be stuck in Meelick when you finish. When we dropped the car off, we found no signpost or marker to signify where we would end the walk. We parked up beside Meelick Church where there was a driveway marked ‘The Strand’ leading down by the river. A local came cycling by and confirmed that was indeed where we would finish up, so all was good. We thought there might be a shop or cafe in Meelick but it was just the church and a few houses around, so you might want to bring enough food and drink to keep you going.
This section of the Hymany Way takes in some beautiful scenery along the banks of the Shannon and while it can start to feel a bit same same further along the track, there’s lots of flora and fauna to keep you interested along the way and the odd boat or two cruising along the river beside you. The track could do with a little maintenance in parts. The overgrown grass proved to be a little bit of a slog at times but going by some of the reviews we read online, we got off pretty lightly and it wasn’t too much of a problem. On the other hand, we had near perfect conditions and if the grass was wet it could have been quite uncomfortable. The only other issue was the amount of sheep poo in the later stages of the walk! We had to give up trying to avoid it or we would have seen nothing but the ground. It’s a small price to pay though.
If you want to knock some time off the walk, you can probably drive down the driveway rather than parking at the church in Meelick. We found a lot of fishermen had done so, although there was an angling festival on, so not sure if the gate was only open for that reason. Either way, you should take a bit of time to visit the church in Meelick when you finish the walk. Founded as a Franciscan Abbey back in 1414AD, it’s one of the oldest Catholic churches still in use in Ireland.
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