“Whatever you do, don’t launch a new website if you’ve nothing to offer”, I heard them screaming from the wings.

Hmm.

Welcome to my new website and business name, Barry’s Guided Tours.

As you browse my tours, one thing will quickly jump out at you : Several of them aren’t scheduled!

With the pandemic showing no real sign of abating, I’ve had to take the strange decision to go ahead with re-branding and developing this new website, despite not having much to offer all you beleaguered hiking friends.

Both my Italian and French groups have already cancelled their 2021 trips to Ireland, as they did last year. I’ve “retaliated” by putting off my hiking tours to France and Spain, as well as my birdwatching week in Poland.

I know you’re not supposed to wish your life away, but I’m deeply looking forward to re-commencing these overseas weeks in 2022.

As for local events, I’ve decided to scrap all my residential weekends planned for the West, up to end of August, concentrating instead solely on one-day hikes over that period.

However, I have retained two weekend events for autumn, subject to public health announcements approaching their dates. We can dream, can’t we? These two are my JOMO Weekend at the end of August and my Western Ocean Walking Wekend at the end of September.

So, alas, most of what we do this year will be just day events.

Therefore, here is what my schedule currently looks like for the 2021 ‘season’ (for want of a better word) :

Achill Day Walks – June 13, July 31

The Bangor Trail – June 5, July 10, August 21

Benlevy Hill Hike – June 12, July 3, August 14

Carrowtiege Cliffs Hike – June 20, July 4, August 18

Cong Woods History, Legends & Nature – June 6, July 11, August 15

Iniskea North Island – June 19, August 2 (top image)

Iniskea South Island – June 26, August 1

JOMO Weekend – August 26 to 29

Western Ocean Walking Weekend – September 23 to 26

Next year will see the return of my birdwatching tour to Poland, my guided walking week in the South of France (both in May 2022) and my guided week in Catalunya (September 2022). It will also see the welcome return of my long weekends in NW Mayo, along the Killary Fjord (pictured above) and in The Burren.

So, once again, a strange welcome to my new website, or more accurately, to the bare bones of it.

Stay strong, folks, and make sure you’re still getting out for whatever rambles you can manage within 5km from your home, in the hope that we can soon visit all of our own county and, hopefully, travel further afield later on.

This Saturday just gone, for example, I managed to walk 32km all within my 5km radius. (Image shows Lough Rusheen, near Castlebar)

Beir bua, Barry.