After 5 flights and nearly 43 hours we arrived home to the unexpected surprise of all our family at the airport to greet us. The wonderful holiday is over but we have so much to look forward to here as well.
Today we walked from Sneem to Kenmare. As it turned out it was the longest day (30 kms) and the one with the least interesting terrain. Initially there was some misty rain but it was mainly fine and extremely humid. We began walking at 9.30 and didn't reach our destination until 7pm.
Maureen and Joe were friendly hosts. Both Irish, they both met in the US, lived there for 20 years before returning to establish their business in Sneem. A very common story of many of our B&B contacts. It seems to be the Irish rite of passage.
Leaving Sneem we crossed the bridge over the river.
These huge Gunera plants have run rampant along the track. This is our take on an Anne Geddes photo - I'm sitting in for the baby.
The Department of Conservation and Wildlife have commandeered this old building specifically for the preservation of bats, known as a Bat Roosting Site.
One of the rare sightings of the southern coast looking towards the Beara Peninsular.
Along the bush track we came across the Brushwood Studios Art Gallery. Jo-Anne Yelen is one of the resident artists. She spent several years in Mt Tamborine in Queensland.
An abandoned cottage
Much of the day was spent on long straight tracks and minor roads.
The final 5 kms included a 510m ascent to Gortamullen, which took 2 hours. Maugie and John took the flatter route along the road. At last views of Kenmare as we descend into the town.
Kenmare is a thriving tourist town and a favourite centre on the Ring of Kerry.
Hawthorn House our B&B for the night, actually B,B&B - bed,breakfast and bath!
Lively atmosphere at night - most pubs had music.
We ate at Foleys. All delighted with our meal choices. Exhausted but happy with our effort today.
Today we walked between Caherdaniel and Sneem, around the coast and through three valleys.
Distance : 23 kms; Weather : fine
Breakfast at the Derrynane Hotel with views back towards Caherdaniel.
We started today on an old road called the Butter Road which was used to transport butter by donkey and cart to Cork for export to England. It was also reputedly the route Daniel O'Connell took in the early nineteenth century to promote his Irish Catholic cause for the right to sit in the British parliament.
Walking the Butter Road around the base of Coad Mountain
The view to Cove Harbour
Mark and I made a detour to Staigue Fort, another excellent Celtic ringfort. It is 2500 years old
It is 27m in diameter, 5.5m high and the walls are 4m thick. It was probably a nobleman's home
An artist's impression of Staigue Fort in its heyday
Back on the trail we met up with 2 girls, American and Irish, who have been walking at the same time as us. Their mothers attended college together and now they are good friends. Delightful company as we climbed another hill into another valley.
Much of the country today was pine forest (owned by a Norwegian company), sheep pasture and bog.
At the end of a 3 km tarred road we came to the outskirts of Sneem and the wonderful B&B owned by Maureen Murphy (a Galway lass, much to John's delight). A welcome cup of tea on the terrace.
The busy town of Sneem by local artist, Jo-Ann Yelen.