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!