Next stop, Kenmare

Today was to have been a rest day. However, the owner of the B+B suggested an alternative that we accepted. He drove us to a point that was near the halfway point to Kenmare. We walked back to the B+B. Tomorrow he will drop us at the same place to continue to Kenmare. This alternative will make tomorrow a bit easier and allow us to get to Kenmare in time to cheer the local rugby club.This also allowed us time to visit another stone circle.We also had time to do an extra walk through a microclimate. This was like walking in a rain forest.Ceders were tremendous.We also had the opportunity to watch a shepard and his dog work a flock of sheep.Tomorrow we will be completing the trek to Kenmare.

To Lauragh

This was to be a long day. In addition the weather is supposed to be bad. At the end of the day we will be meeting Bob’s son, Billy Baker. Billy is in training for a big run around Lake Tahoe but will spend a couple days us hiking.The weather turned out to be good all day. The terrain was manageable so we had a good trek. We added some length to the days travel. This proved to be great because we were able to see some standing stones and stone circle. These were put in place some 3000 years ago during the bronze age.One of the interesting things here are the microclimates. This area is subtropical due to the ocean currents. There are actually palmettos here in abundance. Today we went through an area that was like a rainforest.

Trek to Eyeries

Today we will travel to Ayeries. We will be going to Allihies then over a mountain to the town of Eyeries. The path takes us through the area of copper mines that were active in the eighteenth century. There are no active operations now but there remain many open mine shafts. Some open shafts are hidden by vegetation. Hikers are cautioned to stay on the trail. The sun is predicted to be out most of the day, making today a great day for a walk.

We saw a number of mine entrances and old engine houses.

Once we got away from the mining area we saw a number of great views.

Back in the lower areas we were treated to some very special scenery. We crossed an ancient bridge that spans a creek. The main part of the bridge is now replaced with a new metal footbridge. The photo below is from the lower part of the old bridge.

We noted a stone circle. It was on the map but we had to backtrack some to find it.

Back on the coastline we found a stretch of beach.

Then into the lovely town of Ayeries.

The weather today was great, did not encounter any rain.

At Dursey Island

Today we are going to take the cable car to Dursey Island. The weather today appears to be rain all day.

The cable car is more utility than glamorous.

A few years ago it was used for the transport of sheep as well as people.

The car passes over some spectacular water.

On Dursey Island there are the usual sheep farms and stone structures.

There is also a site of an ancient monastary. There was a great battle at the site in 1602. At that time the structure was already a ruin having been built much earlier by the Spanish and then dismantled by pirates.

The landscape is beautiful.

Today was relatively short, about ten miles. Tomorrow we are off to Eyeries. Tomorrow will be a long hike day.

To the tip of the Bere

Today we trek to the end of the Beara Peninsula, Dursey Point. At the end is the only cable car in Ireland that goes over open ocean. It goes to Dursey Island. I understand that we are fortunate in that the cable car no longer transports sheep. None the less, I believe it will be a unique experience even without the sheep.

We hiked the coastal paths to Dursey Point. The coastal are longer but the views are great.

We also hiked to the top of a hill that was an extra five kilometers. The views were some of the most beautiful of the day.

At the top of the hill there is an old lookout post.

The coastline is truly beautiful.

This day was actually not a particularly long day. Although we did include the extra five kilometers.

We had dinner at the B+B because there are no restaurants or pubs here. After dinner we had great convsations with fellow hikers. There was a mother and daughter from Switzerland and a couple, the fellow was English and his girlfriend was an American who spent her life living in Paris.

Bere Island

Today we went to Bere Island. A short ferry ride from Castletownbere. The weather today is the best we have had. This day was truly a blessing. We hiked around about half the island.

First we went to the lighthouse on the north end of the island. These views alone were worth the trip to Ireland.

We next hiked to the ruins of a signal tower that was built at the beginning of the Napoleonic Wars. Again spectacular views.

At the signal tower were sheep (always sheep) and a horse that got really interested in Bob.

In the evening, after dinner, we went to a pub that had local amateur folk music. This experience was like something from a movie. Some of the old guys there were in tears during the old Irish ballads. We left early as we have a lot of miles to cover tomorrow.

This is a photo that Bob took that is especially good.

Day 2

I am starting each day with a yoga routine. I believe this helped me yesterday so I will do it again today. Having had a good stretch in the morning makes me feel better through the day.

This was a tough day on the trail. The first part of the day was lot of uphill on marginal terrain, lots of rocks, slippery moss and deep mud. The hills seem to never end.

But it is beautiful. The people are great and the food good. Accomodations are really nice.

Fuchsias are native here and prolific. I recall that when my family moved to Eureka, California when I was a lad that fuchsias were also prolific. My mother gathered the berries that formed behind the flowers and made an exquisite jelly. Fuchsia jelly was a local item that I have not seen since.

Bob and I had dinner at a place called Murphy’s. It was great. Many establishments have the name Murphy’s here. When we first arrived we were told that that we had to wait until after 8 to get a table. So we went to MacCarthy’s Bar. It turns out that this is a place made famous by a book by the same name. We should go back and replicate the jacket cover of the book in a photo. We will need to find a nun drinking Guinness to be accurate, however.

First Day

This morning we start walking. The weather report is for a mostly cloudy but dry day. Would you believe it, Bob and I chose the same hiking shoes. I believe we were both influenced by Billy Baker. Billy uses this shoe for the Tahoe 200.

This is truly a beautiful part of the world. The people are friendly, the food is good, the weather can be a challenge. Today we had a couple hours of rain and wind. The mist hid some of the great views of Bantry Bay when we were at high elevation.

The scenery is spectacular. It quickly changes from lush forest to rocky grasslands. Today the path traversed mostly high meadow sheep pastures. We encountered many sheep on the path. Some moved but others just watched us.

Bob had some medical issues recently. He shared with me that he would dream of doing this hike as he recovered. It means a great deal to me to be able to share this special adventure with him.

We completed over eighteen miles today. That included over 500 meters of elevation gain and loss. Pretty good for a couple of old geezers. We hiked from Glengarriff to Adrigole.

Launch Day

Well, departure day is here. Would really rather be going with Tina but, this will give her some quality time with her relatives.

Jim is an Uber driver so he will Uber Bob and I for our afternoon flight from Bradley. The direct flight to Dublin is really a great way to go. Since I have luggage for this trip I seem to be packing more stuff. Rain gear is taking more space as well as an extra pair of shoes. I need to save some space for the Irish sweater that I would like to bring back to Tina.

Made it to the flight and Bob and I are on our way.

Flight to Dublin was uneventful. Arrived in Dublin about 5:00 am local time. The bus to Cork leaves from the airport. The express bus is comfortable with few passengers. Good chance to get some sleep.

Ireland is rightly called the Emerald Isle. Everything is shades of green. The trip to Cork reminds me of Skagit Valley. Lush farmlands but no Cascade Mountains.

Had lunch in Cork waiting for the bus to Glengarriff.

Bus to Glengarriff is a local, lots of stops. Good looking green farmlands. Glengarriff is a picturesque small town.

Will crash tonight and get hiking in the morning.

This is a scene from behind our B+B.

Hat

I am not a hat guy. Like my father, l am not partial to wearing them. In the back reaches of my mind I believe they lead to premature baldness. But, I need to wear one on these long pilgrimages.

I like a particular style of baseball cap known as a “Dad” Hat. I like the way that the bill can be made to curl around the eyes and protect from afternoon sun. Mostly I like the look. If you Google it, you will note that a “Dad” Hat is supposed to be ├╝ber preppy. Maybe that is why I like them. I am shying away from broad brimmed hiking hats, definitely a superior choice. I think they look like something an old guy would wear. But I am an Old Guy.

I was originally drawn to this style of hat by Andrew, a client and great guy. Andrew was the lead guy at an oil refinery I did a job at in my working days. I decided to have special hats made for my crew and the client. Andrew requested this style because it kept his head warm. And, I think they look pretty nifty. I have been wearing them since then.

The hat I am planning to take to Ireland is the same one that I used on the Camino Portuguese. The Washington Capitols cap. I was going to wear a “MAGA” hat but was advised against it. I my mind’s eye I could see pilgrims with pitch forks. So I chose the Capitals hat. I got it from Ted Leonsis himself.

So I will pack the Capitals hat.

Should I clean it first? A soiled cap denotes a hard working rugged guy. But, I will be having my luggage transferred from B+B to B+B in Ireland. Nothing rugged about that. I will clean it. Besides, Tina will not let me out of the house with a scroungy hat.