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And they said that squeezing 16 hrs of walking in Kerry down to two and a half minutes could not be done. Pah! I grimace menacingly in their general direction.
Here is the video of the walk. Right here, right now.
I’m back from a three day sojourn in south Kerry, walking 71 km in aid of cancer research. The format of the event this year was different from previous years, in that we were based in the same location for the whole weekend, with all walks terminating in Kenmare. We were brought to our starting point by bus from Kenmare each morning. (Kenmare is a smashing little town in south Kerry, a short distance from some of the most superb scenery in the country. If you are thinking about a trip to Ireland, it is an absolute must-see).
On Friday we travelled from Moll’s Gap to Kenmare. It was a relatively easy road walk, with the final few kilometers trudging through the hills above Kenmare. The distance was 17km, so it wasn’t too difficult. Conditions on the hills were very wet (no surprise given the rain of the last few weeks).
Saturday was the most challenging walk. We started out from Lauragh in the Beara Peninsula, and we had to overcome two hills and a long road-walk before we arrived, exhausted and footsore, into Kenmare about 8 hours later. The conditions were quite challenging, in that the ground underneath was either rocky, or very loose or sodden wet. Nevertheless the scenery was spectacular, the temperature was just right and the rain stayed away.
Sunday was the last of the walks, from Torc Waterfall outside Killarney to Kenmare along the Old Road. This is an absolutely fantastic walk, although not for the faint-hearted. It’s a trek of about 21 km, but at times the scenery looks like something out of Disneyland. The most challenging part of the route was the end – a steep incline then decline on hard road, when my feet were shouting at me “no more”! Sunday was our wettest day. In Kerry they don’t get the kind of rain we are used to. They don’t do drizzle, or moist weather, or soft days. No, in Kerry it’s the Real Thing. From dry to drenched in 0.6 milliseconds.
All in all, a fantastic three days. I feel great from the walk, the company was great and I have to say that the organisation was fantastic throughout. I’ve had enough bananas and flapjacks to last me a lifetime.
If you would like to do something big for charity in 2010, or you just want a weekend to remember, this is the thing to do!
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)
On July 25th to July 27th of this year I am going on a sponsored walk in aid of the Cork Cancer Research Centre – a local charity. We will be walking part of the Ring of Kerry, from Caherdaniel to Killarney – a distance of 71 km.
I can’t wait! Hiking, fresh air, good company, nice photographs and the scenery of County Kerry all in one weekend. It will more than make up for any bad weather or sore feet along the way.
Cancer research features very highly on my list of worthwhile causes. Good friends of mine are currently battling it, two family friends have recently been lost to it, and I had a close brush with it myself last year in a very minor way.
I set up a web page to get some sponsorship and already I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of all the contributors after just two days. It’s been amazing! The donations have already exceeded my initial expectations. All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you!
You can sponsor me online at this page. Every penny goes to the CCRC, and I promise I will post up some nice photos of the trip when I get back.