The Dingle Way has turned out to be a fantastic trail, even more interesting than the Kerry Way, if I can be so choosy. But it isn’t without its challenges.
Most of the trail is rolling but one day, we had to climb to a pass through a sheep pasture. We started out in misty, moist weather at 7:30 am, our usual staring time. We had a make-shift breakfast, because our lodging wasn’t willing to serve us so early.
As we climbed, we were following yellow and sometimes white posts. The rain had picked up and we put on our rain jackets and rain covers for our packs. I wasn’t yet willing to put on my rain pants, since I find them so uncomfortable when I’m climbing. The posts weren’t obvious and I kept taking a compass reading to the last post, in case we had to turn back.
By the time we arrived to the top of the pass, we couldn’t even see any sheep or sheep droppings. They weren’t as dumb as us and didn’t see the need to climb as high in this driving rain. But worse, we couldn’t see our first posts going down.
We roamed around the top, all the while keeping that last post in sight. Finally, Beth found the next post and we started down. We hopped down into mud and muck and had long ago, stopped trying to keep out boots clean and dry. Finally we saw sheep again, a sign that we were making progress. We reached the bottom and sunshine and all was right with the world.
When we got to our next B&B , I emailed Linda Woods of Ireland Walk Hike Bike (www.southwestwalksireland.com) and told her of our challenging day. But the woman at the lodging that we had left also telephoned Linda and said,
“The American women have left for the mountain. It’s foggy and they’ll get lost.” Or something to that effect. Linda told that we’ll be all right, but got worried. In her email to us, she even talked about a search.
“A search?” That is serious. You don’t institute a search for people who aren’t lost and are doing exactly what was planned. So I assumed that was hyperbole and laughed it off.
If you’re expecting great pictures from the top, you’ll be disappointed. There would be just gray punctuated by rain drops on the camera lens. But I thought you’d enjoy a picture of my feet. Duct tape works great on hot spots or over band-aids, never directly on broken skin. Thank goodness Ireland has duct tape.