This is the walk I am embarking on at present. Started today 16.7.16 from Torc Waterfall just South of Killarney to Black Valley. It drizzled on and off all day, but boy, what a beautiful walk it was never the less. SO beautiful, a landscape covered in moss. I’m so happy my visa situation MADE me come to Ireland! You never know what things or certain decisions are good for, do you?
It was so boggy and wet in places but railway sleepers encased in wire mesh help you to stay dry and save the environment. They have lots of those in Tasmania too, remember Ruth? Without it, walkers trample wider and wider afield to try and find dry walkways and destroy the environment in the process.
It felt so remote and despite this being the most popular walk in Ireland, I only met people at Brandon’s Cottage, where you could get coffee and food and there was a boat landing place. And fancy that, I met Mo, a woman who was on the retreat.
There’s a lot of talk of Lyme Disease of late, here and in Australia aswell. Ticks (Zecken) are the carrier of the borrelia burgdorferi bacteria and because of the many deer here there are apparently a lot of ticks in Kerry County. I’m not sure if it’s a new disease or what. Because until a few years ago I’d never heard of it and we certainly have lots of ticks in the Australian bush. But since I stay on paths and don’t camp I should be right!
17.7.16 Today was a REALLY hard day’s walking. Boy, am I glad for my walking poles! The weather report promissed 19 degrees and sunshine and reality provided clouds and occasional drizzle. Someone in the last hostel commented that being a weather reporter is the only job where you can continuosly make mistakes and don’t get fired! LOL. I’m much better with sleeping in hostels now, particularly the ones that have female only dormitories. No snoring! We had such a nice crew last night at Black Valley Hostel. 2 young German women, 1 British who lives in Bordeaux, Helen, an Irish guy, who provided the girls with whiskey and got them all silly and a lovely Russian/French man, Vassili, who lives in Dublin.
I had to cross two high passes today and the first one was a killer, boggy, foggy, soggy and every other oggy, rocky, slippery and mostly in the clouds. Luckily there were plenty of sign posts along the way, most with reflecting tape, which helped seeing them easier in the thick clouds. I plodded along in my grandmother pace, one step at the time.
I can’t seem to be able to take photos that give a good impression of height. It’s a bit better I think with putting a person in it? This is Madelaine, another German young woman I met on the way. Apart from her I just saw one other couple. People tell me this path is so busy????? I actually like the idea of knowing someone is coming behind me, in case something happens to me. And since I’m always the first to leave in the morning, there are always people following behind at some stage.
18.7.16 And well, well, look at this morning!!!! The heavy weather has lifted. Next photo is Lough Acoose in different light.
Great hostel, “The Sleeping Camel” (??? should have been sleeping sheep, no?), great company with Helen from Bordeaux, and Katrin and Melanie from Germany again. It’s a bit more like walking the Camino where you see the same faces on and off.
19.7.16 Still good weather!!! Hard to believe. Walking to Cahersiveen.
Stayed at John’s place, another person I met on the Retreat, in their Cahersiveen holiday house. It was great staying with a local and he and his son Adam took me to see the castle Ballycarbery and some forts from very early times (400-500).
20.7.16 Left Cahersiveen (please note: 3rd day of sunshine)
I’m a bit confused. I saw a leprechaun cottage in the middle of nowhere! I left my pack on the fence for size. I’m not sure if they are related to the Zwiesel? Maybe someone can enlighten me. I actually googled them and no, that lady does NOT live there.
I was to meet John and Adam at the B&B in the afternoon to go and find archeological sites of which there are many all over the countryside, at least the map says so. We explored meadows and fields in different sites, not very successfully. There are rocks EVERYWHERE! In the end we found a farm and the farmer sent us to various places on his property where we struck gold so to speak. A megalithic tomb!
21.7.16 Summer is over – AWFUL day’s walk to Waterville. Rain and storm howling sideways over at least 2 hours walking along a high ridge. BOGcity…..
22.7.16 But hello dry again. Now if this would have been me in front encountering this cow and calf with no way out, I would have turned around and walked whereever, forever! The French couple in front of me also didn’t know what to do except for having a friendly chat to the cow. Eventually the stalemate was solved by another guy coming, who waved his arms wildly and clapped and the scared cow moved slightly to the side and shat all over it’s baby! YUK.
Arrived in Caherdaniel. I’m stuffed kind of, walking for 8 or 9 days already, even though the last few days were short, only around 15kms. On the above picture you can see Beara Peninsula, where I was for the retreat.
23.7.16 Rained all night and when I went to the Pub this morning in the rain to check the weather report, as my hostel has no Wifi, it said clouds and sunshine even though I was standing in pouring rain…..ridiculous, give this guy (person) the sack! So, after struggling with decisions, I chose to take the bus. All the other troopers (4) walked off regardless and I felt slightly guilty. But hey, really, who would reward me for walking 18kms in the rain and bog! I know you would all support my decision and say: ‘very sensible Ursula!’ So I wandered around locally to the beach for a look and to a lovely tea house, stuffed myself with fresh scones and cream, saw this fellow with his goat:
and caught the bus after lunch. Stayed at the quite remote Greenwood Hostel, run by Torsten, a German guy. Forgot to bring food, but Torsten sold me a pizza for 2 Euros, so all good. Met a lovely Aussie couple cycling around Ireland for 3 months and it was nice to hear the Aussie accent. Where you from? Straya, rightio! Oh, funny….
24.7.16 Last day of the Kerry Way walk for me to Kenmare, 19kms. The last mountain was a killer again, but more because my mind had enough of bog and drizzle and said, ‘not another bloody mountain to climb!’ While “the path is supposed to be the way” it certainly turned into “the goal is the way”, I just wanted to get there. And then swore never ever to do another long walk. THIS IS IT! In Kenmare I found another gorgeous French partisserie and ate all sorts of yummy goodies, found my hostel, had a shower and went to the bookshop to buy the next guide book of the Dingle Way! I must be mad! You of course all know this already! So, in conclusion, did 191kms in 10 days, and 2000kms in 5 months. Today 24th, I’m away from Oz since 5 months. And man, I had no time to work yet!