Walking the Kerry Way - Killarney, Cahersiveen, Waterville, Caherdaniel, Sneem, Kenmare
09.03.2015 - 15.03.2015 14 °C
We arrived in Killarney and spent the afternoon planning our next hike around a section of the Kerry Way.
The next day we got a bus to Cahersiveen to start out. Our original plan to hike over the mountain to Waterville was dashed by the difficulty and the fact that the weather had been a bit on and off making the way incredibly boggy. We settled for walking around the road instead.
We arrived in Waterville with time to spare and took a stroll around the village. It was a really pretty spot. We spent a night in a nice B&B and set off the next morning for our next leg.
We made our way along the much more interesting walking track from Waterville. Unfortunately we made a wrong turn and ended up walking miles out of our way before turning back. We struggled to find the right path and ended up knocking on a local's door who very helpfully let us cut through her back paddock to get back to the path. After that it was quite a quick and beautiful walk. It's just amazing how green Ireland is. I've never seen anything to compare to it. The only hiccup was when some sheep herded together and started following at Matt's heals (we think because he had plastic bags attached to his bag and the noise was something they associated with food).
Caherdaniel was a cute and tiny town that we almost walked right through assuming it was not a stop but just a collection of houses. We found a hostel but there was no one inside. Matt asked at a couple of the local pubs and very helpful chap called the owner (who was in Killarney shopping for her daughter's upcoming wedding) who told us to just let ourselves in (yes the hostel was completely unlocked) and make ourselves at home until she got back around 8pm. We did exactly that and made endless cups of tea and cooked up a great feed before settling in to watch some TV when she arrived to show us our room and generally give us the run down.
The next morning we headed towards Sneem. If the path wasn't so clearly marked we would have been sure we'd missed it somewhere as the first section we were literally walking up a creek bed (at least a path that had virtually turned into a creek).
Our shoes were soaked through in minutes and thanks to the wet and windy day, the rest of us was decidedly damp by the time we arrived in Sneem. We met some very cute little horses that also decided to follow Matt in the hope of some food.
We struggled to find a place to stay and had a very nice young gentleman offer for us to stay in his shed. We declined as it looked a little dusty and cold and only had a single bed and spent a bit more than we would have liked on a very nice B&B down the road.
After a brilliant breakfast we set off for the longest day of our trek and headed for Kenmare. It was another wet and not very pleasant day, the boggy ground had our feet soaked again pretty quickly despite our best efforts. By the end of the day I must say I was well and truly ready for a nice warm and comfortable bed. We were wet and muddy when we finally made our way down into Kenmare and the walk was losing a bit of its appeal in some ways. There's nothing like a gorgeous hot shower and warm B&B room to make you feel better though. We'd found a room in a nice pub and had a very chilled out evening watching TV after we'd soaked the mud out of us.
The next day was the final walk to Kilarney which was going to be another long day. We started out well but not far in I was really feeling it. Matt encouraged me along but I was really not looking forward to the full day even though in many ways it was much easier than some of the other sections. We ran into a woman not far out of Kenmare who was running from the car park near some falls along the route (not too far out of Killarney) who very helpfully told us it wasn't that far or difficult. I struggled though, I'm not sure I was entirely well. We were finally getting close to the carpark when the woman ran back past us. We asked her how much farther and after assuring us it wasn't that far she offered us a lift the rest of the way. We gratefully accepted and were even more grateful when we realised just how much further it still was to Killarney.
We made it to the hostel a lot earlier than expected, had a shower and then lay about and watched movies for the afternoon. It was great.
The hike had been amazingly beautiful but I was glad it was over. The last time I was in Ireland I had remarked how lovely the people were, always friendly and helpful, and after this hike it was just reinforced tenfold. You've got to love the Irish.
After a lovely night's rest we hopped a bus to Galway.