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On Sunday I participated in an annual charity walk from Ballycotton to Ballinrostig in Co. Cork. It’s a pretty special occasion because it is the only time in the year that walkers are permitted by the local land-owners to hike the route. As the video below will testify, the scenery is quite stunning. It’s not the easiest of walks – you have to negotiate quite a few barbed-wire fences – but the end is definitely worth the effort. The weather on Sunday was unseasonably good, which helped greatly.
So here is the video. Enjoy!
Sunday brought us from Kenmare to Killarney along the old road, a distance of around 18km. It took us through some of the best scenery that Ireland has to offer.
The terrain was excellent for long distance walking. Gravel paths, railway sleepers and flagstones kept our tormented feet well away from the worst of the boggy land.
The path is very interesting. Trees emerge from the bog in unusual places, abandoned homesteads dating back to the time of the famine are common, and we walked through a narrow glen in one place that seemed to come right from the movie “Darby O’Gill and the Little People”.
After a number of hours we descended the steps by Torc Waterfall. Only a few minutes to go. Or so I thought. We still had Muckross Estate to get through.
And finally, the Brehon Hotel, the finish line, and a chance to take off our boots at long last..
Update: Video of Day 3
Maybe we’ll see you on the 2009 walk?
Saturday brought out the crowds. Over 200 people gathered together in Sneem for the walk to Kenmare.
This walk was the longest of the lot – 28km (19 miles). It’s around 42,000 footsteps and our boots reminded us of this fact with each footfall. The walk was relatively flat, with long stretches on tarmac mingled with a good deal of woodland walking.
After what seemed like an endless forced march, we ended up in Pat Spillane’s Pub for a quick pint. It could have all ended there…
… but no. We had a few more hills to climb…
… and donkeys to annoy.
Update: Here’s the video of Day 2
It’s over. My feet are sore, but the experience was terrific.
This is the a quick report on the first day of the walk.
One of the big treats of the day was coffee and scones in a house that was open to all the walkers. It happened about an hour into the walk though, so it lulled us into a false sense of security! The next few hours were conducted at a fast pace, with few breaks in between.
The last part of the trip was mainly flat and along small country roads. It was a race to the finish. Sneem was about to host it’s annual Wife Carrying Competition: if only our team could have taken part..
Update: Here’s the video for Day 1. (3m)
My charity walk begins this weekend. We will be starting in Caherdaniel at 8.30 tomorrow morning, ending up in Killarney around 3 in the afternoon on Sunday. This means I have to leave home at 5am tomorrow. I thought I was ready until I met up with a friend last night to go through last minute preparations.
Tonight. I need to organise a map, a flask, bottled water, two sets of walking trousers, socks, two pairs of boots, suntan lotion (factor 40), sandwiches in sandwich boxes, crisps, chocolate, fruit, vaseline, blister cream, plasters, bandages, paracetamol, a cap, lip-balm, insect repellent, sunglasses, rain gear, underwear, tee-shirts, 4 sets of stockings, a jumper, my wallet, gloves, a laundry bag, pyjamas, a toilet bag, towels, a mobile phone and a phone charger, a camera and its charger, a walking stick, a book and my new iPod.
And just now I’ve sent an out of office message to almost everybody I have contacted for every mail they have sent me in the past two months. That’s good. That’s real good.