Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Walk

We made it! After 5 days, 94.5 miles, 152 kilometres, 188,949 steps and 908 flights we have safely arrived at the end of our walk along the Kerry Way. We have mostly been lucky with the weather. A couple days before we started County Kerry had torrential rains, six inches in just two days, which would have made for a very miserable walking experience. 
Those heavy rains ended up causing our itinerary to be changed up a bit though. The first day we were supposed to take a boat ride to our starting point, but were told there was too much water to put the boat in. It sounded kind of crazy to us. How could there be too much water for a boat? On day two we were able to do the boat, and once we were on board it made sense. There is a stone bridge the boat has to pass under on the connecting waterway between two lakes. The level of the lakes was up two metres due to the heavy rains, and it meant the boat couldn't get under the bridge. We had to detour through another waterway, and even that was a bit sketchy. The tree branches were very low down and we were all told if we ducked down we'd be fine. 
Our boat driver was quite the character. He said he had just been to a cousin's funeral the day before. We started to say how sorry we were, but before we could finish offering our condolences he went on to say the Irish really know how to have a good time at a funeral. Apparently his comment was so we would know he was hungover. In spite of suffering from overindulgence at the previous day's funeral he managed to answer all of our questions, turned the boat around so we could go back and see the Sika deer Kath spotted, and he quietly sang to himself as he motored along. 
We've walked on country lanes with horse drawn carts trotting down them.
We've stopped for lunch in places that are breathtakingly beautiful.
We've climbed over more gates than I could count.
We've climbed mountains and gone through mountain passes.
There have been a fair number of blackberries consumed.
We've caught glimpses of the coastline. 
We've had lots of good laughs. And no, this isn't our rental car!
Today, the final day of our walk, our luck ran out. I woke up in the middle of the night and could hear the rain pounding down on the roof, and the wind howling outside the window. These are not sounds you want to hear if you are a walker. The minute by minute weather forecast said the rain should let up around 9:22. We remained optimistic as the sweet gentleman who owned the B&B cooked our breakfast.
It was still pouring as we arrived at the starting point of today's walk. It continued to pour and blow most of the day. So much for the minute by minute forecast and being optimistic! The horrible weather meant very few pictures were taken today, and the few that I did take were on my phone, which was safely tucked in a waterproof case, so they aren't all that great. I have posted a video clip on Instagram that I took today (sorry, but I have no clue how to include it in this post), so if you are on Instagram be sure to have a look. 
Tomorrow we head off to Dingle, then on to the Aran Islands and Galway. Hopefully the foul weather clears!

23 comments:

  1. So glad you're enjoying your visit to Ireland and you have been quite lucky weatherwise considering how miserable it's been this summer and autumn. Hopefully it will pick up for the Aran islands. I love reading your description of your trip and your readers comments. Glad you're enjoying our butter too. not too sure about the finer points of Irish v English breakfasts but we definitely don't appreciate being taken for English, much like Canadians and Americans possibly. Happy travels Mary

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  2. So glad you're enjoying your visit to Ireland and you have been quite lucky weatherwise considering how miserable it's been this summer and autumn. Hopefully it will pick up for the Aran islands. I love reading your description of your trip and your readers comments. Glad you're enjoying our butter too. not too sure about the finer points of Irish v English breakfasts but we definitely don't appreciate being taken for English, much like Canadians and Americans possibly. Happy travels Mary

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  3. Looks like you are having a fabulous trip, such beautiful scenery. Thank you for taking us along :)

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  4. You have captured so beautiful the wonderful irish scenery and also the irish life too! When we went out in a boat in Kerry the owner of the boat ended up singing too! In our experience the rain quickly passed through. Sorry you have had such a wet day that's no fun on a long distance walk. Sarah x

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  5. I am really enjoying following in your (virtual) footsteps, Kristie! This way I get to enjoy the fabulous scenery without getting wet. :) -- Ruth

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  6. What glorious countryside, I'm glad you're having such a good time. Fingers crossed for good weather to come. CJ xx

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  7. It sounds as if you're having a wonderful time. The scenery is beautiful. Hope the rain eases so you can see the Emerald Isle in all its glory.

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  8. AMAZING!! I am now itching to travel Ireland as well. What a beautiful countryside to walk in!!!

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  9. They still do horse and cart in Ireland? I am completely charmed, Kristie! It all looks spectacularly beautiful, but I am sorry you had so much rain. No wonder it is so green. I think I see an Irish breakfast being conjured up in the last pic (and I want his apron). Great post :))

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  10. What a beautiful journey, all your walks at home seem a brilliant preparation for this. And, walking looks to be the perfect speed for enjoying that countryside. I can't wait to see pix of the Islands and Dingle.

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  11. So beautiful! I love hearing the story of your travels and imagining what it would be like to be there. Thanks for taking us along with you!

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  12. The Rooster Apron (or something very like it) at this link http://www.ulsterweavers.com/rooster-pvc-apron.html

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  13. Beautiful countryside, I hope the weather clears for you now x

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  14. You have taken us along a lovely tour, shame about the weather but that really is normal.

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  15. Those photos remind me of the times I've holidayed in Kerry. I've also spent some time in Dingle and made quite a few visits top Galway. I'm sure you'll love Galway. We're hoping to go there at the weekend for a short camping trip!

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  16. Fingers crossed the weather improves for the rest of your trip (but I think you've been v lucky so far!). It looks fabulous.

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  17. I'm so glad you're enjoying yourself, and good job finishing that walk! Wow. I've been to some Irish-American wakes and boy, they were fun. I feel a little bad saying that but it's true. Those people really know how to send off a loved one. :)

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  18. I've known a few people now that have visited Ireland, but, nobody has walked it! What a great way to see the country.

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  19. So sorry about the bad weather on your last day of that spectacular walk. I am enjoying your trip so much, it just looks like it is amazing, everywhere you look there is something beautiful to see. I am thinking the air/water/grass makes up for that butter tasting so good. I felt that way when I was in Paris, the croissants and butter were the best, I could have eaten only that on my trip and been so happy.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  20. I hope the weather has improved for you, although it has been rotten here today, so I fear perhaps it hasn't! It doesn't sound as though it will stop you though, so I hope that you keep enjoying the rest of the journey and the breakfasts! xx

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  21. That's a shame about the rain. But how amazing that it didn't stop you. Most of us won't walk from the house to our cars in the rain. Thanks again for sharing your pictures of such beautiful places.

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