Tinahely – Ballytiege Bridge

92 Tinahely - Ballytiege

 Stage no. 92
Date Thursday 30 August 2018
Distance stage       15,5 km
Distance acum. 3.436,5 km
Quality of signs good
Quality of the hike C (interesting): some views, some paved roads between farms


Link to Strava

I have slept reasonably well; I oke up a few times, looking many kilometers away in the sort-of-dark. When the day has started I get up and pack my gear together. There is not so much to pack: I have a bivouacsack, no sleeping bag or tent or so.

At 06.06 I start hiking again. I am not in a hurry, I want to maintain a modest pace and want to make a really long day, again. The Trail leads down and up on small hills. In the far distance the higher hills of the Wicklow Mountains are visible, this excitement for later today and the stheas to come. The slopes this morning are getting more and more steep. After 13 kilometers, in a section that goes gently downhill, I feel two painful stitches in my right Achilles heel. My first thought is that it must be some thorns that got stuck in my socks, or so. But the pain continues and I rub the places that are hurting. I try some careful small steps, some massaging and some light stretching but the pain continues. This is not good. I am in the middle of nowhere and I have to walk at least to a road, to get back to the civilization.  By making very small steps I arrive on the next local road. I don’t want to stop just somewhere along a road (could be difficult to get back to the exact spot to continue the next time). I continue for 200 meters to a bridge that crosses a small creek at the location known as Ballyteige.

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Ballytiege Bridge

I take a break, I am very disappointed and very concerned about my leg. A fellow hiker pass me by; he is also from the Netherlands, and he is doing the Wicklow Way. It is difficult for me to be excited, but I whish him all the best and watch him crossing the bridge and going up the hill, that I have to save for my next trip. I stumble back to the local road and start hitchhiking my way to the east, to the coast, to the national railroad. It is an easy road but with very few traffic. Within 20 minutes I am lucky and I get a drive to the village of Aughrim, and later on to Arklow, on the coast. While waiting for my train south (remember: I always ravel backwards back home, although it would be a lot easier to travel north to the close-by Dublin) I chat with the railway station chief in Arklow. Again, we talk about how it is to live in a country that is attached to other countries, and the differences between people from the countryside versus city folks. I spend the night in Wexford, and continue the next day to Cork. Later on, back home it turns out that I have two microruptures in my Achilles heel, recovery can take quite some time.

But I will be back in Ireland . . .

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Craiguenamanagh – Tinahely

91 Graiguenamanagh - Tinahely

 Stage no. 91
Date Wednesday 29 August 2018
Distance stage       77,5 km
Distance acum. 3.421,0 km
Quality of signs good
Quality of the hike B (very interesting): lots of variety in scanery, great views


Link to Strava

During my day off, yesterday, I got frustrated that I have to spend one of the very few days that I have available in my calendar to spend in Ireland by taking rest and shuffling around my room without shoes. I want to try to compensate for this loss of time in the days to come.

The owner of the B&B apologized yesterday evening for not having any breakfast available before 8.00 (“that’s the pace of rural Ireland”). If I have to leave without breakfast anyway I will use the nightly hours to make it a really great day. I leave the B&B at 00.59 and cross the bridge to the other side of the river.

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leaving Craiguenamanagh in the middle of the night

It is as dark as it can get, but after I have left the village and its lights behind me, my eyes start feeling comfortable in the dark. I have my headlight on but I use it only once every two minutes or so for a short flash. The Trail follows the bank of the river, in a narrow trail between the high grass. It is very straightforward; if you fall in the water you have gone too much to the left! After two hours I arrive at the first bridge that crosses the river. I follow the road to the northeast to the village of Borris. The street is empty, but well lit. In Borris I go left / northeast again following the road to Mount Leinster. This countryside road is dark and narrow, but at this hour of the night, at 3.20. it is quiet. The road goes up the hill, with some steep sections. I keep an easy pace, most important is to keep moving as I have a long day ahead of me.

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on the way to Mount Leinster

In the early morning light Just after the dawn has started I reach the shoulder of Mount Leinster, 24 kilometers after my start of this morning. The view is spectacular here at 440 meters altitude. It is cold, the sky is clear and there are some low hanging clouds between the hills in the north.

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view from (the shoulder of) Mount Leinster

I sit down on a bench to have a break and enjoy the scenery. After 10 minutes or so I have to continue, gently downhill still using the paved road. The signs of The South Leinster Way continue to be very good and lead me to the village of Kildavin, the finish of the South Leinster Way.

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From there it takes some 40 mintes to hike to the village of Clonegal, which is the southern starting point of the Wicklow Way, the final host of the E8 in Ireland. The sky is clear blue, the temperature is bit more than what I would have wished for but it is great to be outdoors. The Trail continues to use the regular paved road, which is boring but easy and welcome to my feet. I leave Clonegal, at the starting sign of the Wicklow Way at 10.00.

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I feel very good, although tired, but it is exciting to realize that I have a big part of the day still ahead of me and that I have already covered 40 kilometers. Further down the road, after some kilometers, the Trail uses here and there forest roads for a while but always comes back to regular roads. The slopes in this southern part of the Wicklow Way are gentle, and although sometimes steep they are never very high. In the afternoon I maintain a reasonable pace, the landscape and the weather are great and I love to be on my way to the horizon. I have a few short breaks every now and then, long enough to recover my breath but short enough to keep the pressure on my feet to keep going. Ona forrest road I meet a hiker who is coming towards me. She is from Belgium, and started last year in Dublin with the Wicklow Way and she is finishing it this year. Although the Wicklow Montains, and the Wicklow Way, are well known for hiking, and August is an ideal month for hiking in Ireland I barely meet others hikers.  At the end of the afternoon I feel that my steps are not as well coordinated as earlier in the day. The Trail is crossing forest roads now, with stones here and there. Although I would have loved to have an 80+ kilometer stage I don’t want to risk of stumbeling and falling. I have been  checking for a place to have a dinner or to sleep but I am crossing the middle of nowhere.

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I feel very well, although very tired, and I don’t want to leave the Trail for luxury such as a hot meal or a bed. From 18.30 on I am looking for a good bivouac location and finally, at 19.15, I find one; I call it a day high on a hill southwest of Tinahely, from where I have fantastic views to the southwest where I can see all the way to the Irish Sea. Below me is a meadow and in the valley there are some farm houses. It is quiet, the sunlight is fading away and I am glad not having to walk anymore.

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Mullinavat – Craiguenamanagh

90 Mullinavat - Graiguenamanagh

 Stage no. 90
Date Monday 27 August 2018
Distance stage       48,5 km
Distance acum. 3.343,5 km
Quality of signs good
Quality of the hike C (interesting): paved roads and some nice scenery


Link to Strava

Again a hiking day without a proper breakfast. I leave the B&B at 4.55 and I start the E8, where I left it yesterday, at 4.59. My feet are really hurting and I get back in a, somehow, modest pace only after a while. The direction of the Trail is more or less straightforward northeast bound. I prevent standing still as it causes much pain to get moving again. Around lunchtime I arrive in the village of Inistoge, after passing the “wall of shoes”.

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The village has a lovely square, with a small grocery shop (lunch!) and  some benches that provide a great place for a little rest. The weather is delightful, and after lunch I have huge difficulty in getting to move again. Leaving Inistoge the Trail leads up the hill in wide curves. There are very few people out in the hills and in the forest. The final kilometers of today are getting more and more of an ordeal due to the pain in my feet. During the day I have tried to find a B&B in the village of Graiguenamanagh but I was not successful. After a long downhill section I arrive in the tiny village along the river Barrow and I ask here and there for a B&B. I find one on the side of the river, close to the city center.

I have dinner in the local snackbar (pizza with dipsauce) and I decide to take a day off tomorrow to give my feet a break.

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Clonmel – Mullinavat

89 Clonmel - Mullinavat

 Stage no. 89
Date Sunday 26 August 2018
Distance stage        50,0 km
Distance acum. 3.295,0 km
Quality of signs good
Quality of the hike D (boring): many paved roads in a not so great scenery


Link to Strava

After again one year since my last stage I am back in Ireland with the usual itinerary: home -> Amsterdam -> Cork -> starting point. On this arrival day I take it easy and do some sightseeing in downtown Clonmel. I also check the shortest way from my B&B (same as the last two nights of my previous trip) to the bridge that is situated south of the city center.

After I have enjoyed a good breakfast in the B&B I start my hike at 07.00 at the bridge. I have new hiking boots which should reduce, or eliminate, the many problems that I have with my feet during hiking. I have not been able to train on these and to compensate for that I have also taken my outdoor Crogs with me. During the first kilometers it rains and my Crogs cause me some scarcial blisters, already within one hour! After the weather has cleared I put on my boots, which I should have done from the start. The Trail is heading for Carrick-on-Suir, which is some 20 kilometers down the river, but it would be too easy (and boring!) to follow the cycling path downstream. Consequently the Trail leads up a hill for some useless kilometers on a (dangerous!) road with high hedges on the sides. Fortunately halfway up the hill there are new signs that indicate that the Trail goes east, back down to the river instead of having to go all the way up. Back in the valley, near the village of Kilsheelan, the Trail follows the cycling path along the Blackwater river; it is made of spotless concrete and every 300 meters there is a bench that provides a seat for the many fishermen that try their luck in the river.

on the way to Carrick-on-Suir

At 11.40 I arrive in Carrick-on-Suir (halfway the Irish section of the E8!) and I get myself lunch in the local supermarket. Thanks to the comfortable and flat kilometers until here my pace is very good, and I have lunch while moving onwards. During the afternoon many kilometers are crossed on paved roads, which makes it easy to maintain a high pace, but it is boring.

After almost 50 kilometers I decide to call it a day in the village of Mullinavat: “there is a house (B&B) in Mullinavat, they call The Rising Sun”. It is situated on the Trail, on the main road in the village, and it has a spare room (not a cheap one). After I have checked in, I notice that my activity app shows that I have covered 49,8 kilometers today. I leave the B&B and follow the E8 for another 200 meters until the app indicates the 50,0km. It is just within ten hours after I have left Clonmel, this morning. It was a great day, hopefully the blisters on my feet will be easy on me in the next days.

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Clogheen – Clonmel

88 Clogheen - Clonmel

 Stage no. 88
Date Friday 1 September 2017
Distance stage        36,0 km
Distance acum. 3.245,0 km
Quality of signs good
Quality of the hike B (interesting): hills and views and paved roads



Link to Strava

At 06.30 the taxi picks me up at my B&B in Clonmel and drives me back to Clogheen. The lady taxidriver is fun to chat with, and I answer her question (which I get asked every trip in Ireland at least once): “what’s it like to live in a country that is attached to another country?”. When she drops me off at the bus stop in Clogheen she reminds of the weather warning that has been issued for the south of Ireland for later today: storm, thunder and rain at the end of the afternoon.

I start at 07.05, carrying only a small backpack as I have left the majority of my luggage in the B&B in Clonmel. During the morning the weather is great, and lovely for hiking.

In the first kilometers the Trail follows the river valley, later on some hill slopes have to be crossed. After noon the sky gets clouded and the wind is increasing. About ten kilometers before Clonmel, after crossing the river Suir, I cross a regional road that leads northbound to Clonmel. It would be an easy option to follow this road (with a little bit more distance) to Clonmel instead of crossing the final hills to Clonmel.

I continue the Trail uphill, not stopping or slowing down, and being chased by the threat of the upcoming storm. By the time I arrive in the outskirts of Clonmel the first drops start falling. Ten minutes later I arrive in my B&B, just before the storm & rain start with exactly what was forecasted.

This was my last day on this trip, next time I will reach the halfway point on the Irish section of the E8, the city of Carrick-on-Suir.

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Fermoy – Clogheen

87 Fermoy - Clogheen

 Stage no. 87
Date Friday 1 September 2017
Distance stage        41,0 km
Distance acum. 3.209,0 km
Quality of signs good
Quality of the hike A (excellent!): hills and phantastic views; Irish countryside at its best!



Link to Strava

I get up at 04.00 and pack all my belongings together. I leave the B&B at 04.47, without breakfast (I got a reduction of € 5 on the rate).

The trail leads northbound. In the early morning hours I enjoy the views at the crack of dawn.

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The crossing of the M8 motorway is not pleasant; there is no space for pedestrians to maneuver between the (exit) road of the highway and the barrier on the side of the road. Thanks to the low amount of traffic at this hour of the day it is not complicated to move on, but I am surprised to find such a section in the Trail. This is compensated by the spectacular kilometers that I cover later on; a lot of unpaved paths with great views to the south.

The weather is fantastic with clear blue skies, mild temperatures around 20 degrees, no winds also not higher up in the hills. The heather is blossoming, and the slopes have a strong scent of the colorful flowers. It is great to be outdoors!

I arrive at 15.15 in the village of Clogheen, my finish for today. Earlier this morning I have arranged a B&B in Clonmel. Although Clonmel is my finish for tomorrow, there was no location available on the internet closer to Clogheen. This is an exception for me; I always travel back backwards and Clonmel is on the Trail ahead of me. It is the third time in my 3000+ kilometers on the E8 that I have to decide to travel forward. Let’s not make a habit out of it.

In Clogheen I have to wait a while for the next bus to Clonmel, and I have a chat with the grocery lady in the local shop. We talk about the exodus of (young) people from villages in the south of Ireland. Many of the former classmates of her children have moved to Cork, Dublin or the USA. In the past there used to be thirteen pubs in Clogheen, and nowadays there is only one left. Before the bus arrives I have the opportunity to get a pizza in the local snackbar, and I am introduced to the cup of dipsauce to make the dry crust at the end of each slice more tasty. It’s the perfect end of this great day.

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Carricagula (Millstreet) – Glannagear

85 Carricagula (Millstreet) - Glannagear

 Stage no. 85
Date Wednesday 30 August 2017
Distance stage        42,5 km
Distance acum. 3.138,0 km
Quality of signs good
Quality of the hike C (interesting): hills and wide views, compensated by a lot of boring local roads


Link to Strava

Exactly one year has passed since my previous stage. I am very excited to go back to Ireland to continue my E8. The excitement was so huge that I could not decide where to book a place for the night at the end of my first stage, wherever it would turn out to be. After arriving at Cork Airport in the morning, and being dropped off by the bus in Millstreet (around lunch time) I take a taxi that drives me to the middle of nowhere, where I left off one year ago. It’s great to be back, the weather is great, the knee is fully recovered of the overstretched medial band and I have a some days available to make long hiking days.

I start at 13.33 by following the very good signs of the Duhallow Way, which is the host of the E8 in this part of Ireland. The landscape has nice, gentle hills. There is a high number of (modern) windmills that decorate the horizon.

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one of many

During the first kilometers the Trail crosses fields, which are easy to do. Just before the village of Bweeng the signs start following the paved roads, which continues for the rest of this stage.

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great to be here!

During my crossing of Bweeng there is a little rain shower. I was hoping to find a place to stay for the night here, or at least a place to have dinner, but I have to continue my way without either of the two. Also after sunset the roads are easy to follow, but I get tired after this long day; I have used eight hours to travel from home to my starting point, and it took me ten hours to cover the 42 kilometers, until I find a bivouac spot, east from the city of Mallow, just before midnight.

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August in Ireland

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Kenmare – Carricagula (Millstreet)

84 Kenmare - Carrigagulla (Millstreet)

 Stage no. 84
Date Sunday 28 August / Monday 29 August 2016
Distance stage        81,5 km
Distance acum. 3.095,5 km
Quality of signs good
Quality of the hike B (very nice): hills and wide views, compensated by a lot of boring local roads


Link to Strava

At 06.45am I leave the hostel and hike along the big street of Kenmare to the starting point of today’s excitement, using the Kerry Way. The knee still hurts but thanks to my slow pace the pain becomes more a local pain in stead of a pain that paralises the entire joint. The weather is great again, do they ever have other types of weather than blue skies in Ireland? The trail goes straight north up the hill, leaving Kenmare, crossing fields with great views along a local road. The section where the road crosses the hill shoulder, illusively named Windy Hole, is lovely and pleasant to cross on this bright Sunday morning.

On my way to Windy Hole

On my way to Windy Hole

 Descending in the valley behind Windy Hole the field road leads along some small sections that tend to be marshy but I have had a lot worse in the past stages. After some horizontal kilometers, just after passing the announcement of the Killarney National Park, the trail goes up the hill to the northeast. The hill is drenched with marshy sections but, unlike the Beara Way, these are covered with comfortable boards. Altogether these boards cover more than one kilometer, and they enable hikers to maintain a decent pace, keep dry feet and enjoy the surroundings in stead of focussing on their feet. Going down the hill, I bump into the first fellow hikers/walkers of today.

lovely Killarney National Park

lovely Killarney National Park

On the small sections of the trail in this valley hikers have to make way for hikers from the other direction. The biggest group that I had to step aside for included 30 people. The final kilometers in the National Park are using a field road, which leads to the area with the famous Torc Waterfall. It is really crowded over here, the parking lots are completely filled. The waterfall turns out to be a lovely sight and I stop for the inevitable pictures.

Torc Waterfall

Torc Waterfall

After crossing the national road the trail leads further in the direction of city of Killarney. At Muckross Park I leave the Kerry Way and go east, crossing the park to the main road. The next twenty-some kilometers or unmarked and lead from the Kerry Way to the starting point of the Duhallow Way, where the E8 continues. Since it is not signed or mapped I have planned my own directions. With the priority on safety I have chosen local roads that avoid as much as possible fast driving traffic (details are at the bottom of this post). However, I have to pass a short section of the N22. The N22 motorway is used by many drivers who believe that the maximum speed is a bare minimum for them to get to their destination. For every car that I hear approacing (from the front and from the back) I step aside on the side of the road and stand still untill the car(s) have passed.

N22, not designed for hikers

N22, not designed for hikers

Fortunately the N22-section is short and I continue my way on the silent local roads in rural Ireland on a sunny Sunday afternoon. After arriving, after 37 kilometers today, in the small village of Headfort (one bar) I hoped to find a B&B or anything of the kind, but the people that I meet, in the bar, know for sure that there is no lodging facility along the trail in the next kilometers. It is 16.45, the weather is still great and I feel okay, I have hardly any problem in the knee as long as I don’t stop for more than five minutes. I decide to continue my way to the starting point of the Duhallow Way, in the tiny village of Shrone. In the next couple of hours I take it easy while hiking southeastbound, I drink a lot and have my bottle refilled by friendly people that I meet along the way, At 19.30 I arrive in Shrone, 46 kilometers from this mornings starting point. I take a short break, get informed by a the owner of the fields that I will be crossing about the direction of the signs in the beginning of the Duhallow Way and I use the inevitable steps to cross the fence. There is no break for me! The first few hundred meters through the fields, walking from one sign pole to the next, are very, very marshy and I am glad I am wearing my rubber croqs.

First section of the Duhallow Way

First section of the Duhallow Way

After crossing a north-south field road the trail goes up the hill. The day has come to an end and the surroundings are preparing for the night. Even during the twilight and afterwards I can follow the signs easily with my Petzl (the signs also have a reflector on each side) but the terrain gets worse: there is no path or trail there are just signs that indicate the direction, leading through very wet sections, with holes and mud. Where the signs cross two parallel fences the sign indicates the wrong direction and I decide to follow the last sign and to continue my way down the hill to the local road, which I will follow and where the E8 bumps into in a few kilometers. The extra kilometers that I cover this way are to be preferred over taking the chance of slipping and sliding or falling in the rough terrain where the trail leads through. After reaching the local road I am still full of adrenaline and I continue my way eastbound. After two kilometers or so the E8 signs join me again on this road. This local road is very quiet, the quality of its surface is superb and it goes more or less straight east in the direction of the village of Millstreet. At a tiny crossing called Croonig’s Cross Roads, the signs go right up the hill. Shortly after they leave the road and lead through the terrain over the hill to Millstreet. The first 50 meters of this section look extremely muddy and I decide to keep my legs and feet safe by following the road, around the hill. Again: more kilometers than the signs indicate but safer to get to my destination in one piece. In the long descent down the hill towards Millstreet I pass many farms where dogs and cows start making noise when I pass. Just before the outskirts of Millstreet the E8 signs join me again. At the beginning of Millstreet (one hotel, two B&B’s, several restaurants and snackbars, many shops), where I arrive at 01.35, the trail goes straight south on another local road, gently up a hill. I continue my way without delay but I feel that my pace is suffering from fatigue. Halfway up the hill I find a great spot for a startrail picture, and this gives me a nice excuse for a 30 minute break.

Startrails 2504 - 2509

Startrails above Millstreet

After the pictures have been taken I collect my lugage and continue my way slowly along the local roads. Just before Sunrise, at 06.00, I arrive at the foot of the hill Musheramore. I take a powernap of fifteen minutes after which the daylight is enough to continue my way along the signs through the field. In the first kilometer there are many muddy sections that are difficult to avoid, but I manage. After this the forrest road leads to a sort of terrace path where the view to the north gets more and more impressive with every step I take. Hiking at 500 meters altitude gives a magnificent view over the lowlands in the north on yet another bright and Sunny day.

Overlooking the lower land covered by clouds

Overlooking the lower land covered by clouds

After a breakfast break enjoying the view I continue to the east, where the signs lead into the local road that goes from Millstreet to the southeast. I follow the road down the hill in a steady pace but I am exhausted after being on the trail for more than 24 hours. Where the trail leaves the local road to go left/north onto a field road that leads up the hill Carrigagulla I decide to call it a day and I finish my hike for this trip. Hitchhiking I get easily to Millstreet where I stay in the local hotel. A fantastic day (two days!) have come to an end.

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Lauragh – Kenmare

83 Lauragh - Kenmare

 Stage no. 83 
Date Friday 26 August 2016
Distance stage       30,5 km
Distance acum. 3.014,0 km
Quality of signs good
Quality of the hike A (excellent): hills and great ocean views


Link to Strava

At 05.15am I am ready to start the long day that I have ahead of me. The lady of the B&B had arranged an early breakfast and she has also informed me of the expected conditions of today’s hike.

After leaving the B&B in the dark I walk back to the trail (approx. 800 meters) and I continue my way northbound. The first couple of kilometers are following the local road, easily, but they go steep uphill. By the time I arrive at the point where the trail goes into the fields the sun is up but hidden behind the clouds. The trail uses more fields than what is drawn on the map (it goes parallel to the road a few hundred meters) and this section turns out to be pretty wet marshland. After this parallel section, some 10 minutes, the signs stop existing and I decide to go to the right, northeast, straight in the direction of the hill where I am heading for. After one kilometer I see the  signs again, indicating the direction that I am going. The weather is not great; cloudy and a chilly wind. I arrive at the top of the slope without problems or delays. For the first time this week I feel cold and after an inevitable selfie I continue my way quickly. Before going down the hill there is first a horizontal section that needs to crossed. The soil is very wet and slippery. Due to my rush to get warm and comfortable I don’t put my feet carefully on the slippery rocks and then it happens: my left foot slips away, my right leg tries to hold me up right but with no avail. I fall while turning my right knee sideways. Before I hit the soil I hear a crack in my right knee like a tearing knee ligament and I hit the mud. While I get back on my feet again I realize immediately that this could be the end of this hiking trip. The knee hurts pretty bad but I force myself to continue to move, to keep the knee agile. Making very small and safe steps I manage to make it to the end of the horizontal section (only some 100 meters). After carefully using the steps that cross the ever present fence I start going down the hill. This turns out to be a dry section of fields and not as steep as I had feared beforehand. Following the signs I arrive halfway down the hill at the farm where the trail leads to the comfortable local road. Still moving very slowly I continue my way down and at the foot of the hill, between two lakes, I take the first break of this morning. It is exactly the point where I have hiked 3 000 kilometers along the E8. I had hoped to be in better spirit that what I am right now. My knee hurts a lot, the sun has started to shine, the sky gets clearer and I sit down to consider my options.

keep on moving

keep on moving

I would jepordize my health if I would continue following the signsl with going up and down the next hill (of which the lady at the B&B assured me that there where many marshy sections). I decide to skip the crossing of the hill and to go around the hill by going to the coastal road. This way will give me four or five extra kilometers but at least these will be comfortble to do: flat surface and hopefully also no steep up and downhill sections. On the other side of the hill the trail leads to this same coastal road where I can pick the trail up again.  The local road that leads to the coast is easy and quiet. The coastal road is a much bigger challenge: it is narrow, considering the amount of traffic that passes by, and there are very few places where a pedestrian can make way for the other traffic to pass. I was hoping for nice ocean views from this road but most of the view to the left is blocked by bushes and trees. It is not advisable to use this road any more than strictily necessary. Fortunately after eight kilometers I can go into a parrallel road where the E8-trail joins me again. This easy road turns out to be pretty endless passing impressive examples of Irish real estate. After a few kilometers the trail leads back to the coastal road, to a very busy section with many unclear curves. Be very carefull while passing these 1.5 kilometers! At the end there is the bridge that crosses the ocean, called Kenmare River at this point, and consequently the city of Kenmare (many hotels, B&B’s and one hostel, many shops and restaurants) on the north bank is reached.

the bridge from Beara to Kerry

the bridge from Beara to Kerry

By crossing the bridge the E8 leaves the Beara peninsula and continues on the Kerry peninsula. I decide to stay here for two nights, allowing myself a day off tomorrow to give the knee a break. In the hostel where I stay there is a wonderful international mixture of active tourists: many hikers and cyclists who visit the Kerry peninsula and that are doing the Kerry Way, or a part of it, stay for one or two night in the city.

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Eyeries – Lauragh

82 Eyeries - Lauragh

 Stage no. 82 
Date Thursday 25 August 2016
Distance stage       24,0 km
 Distance acum. 2.983,5 km
Quality of signs very good
Quality of the hike A (excellent): hills and great ocean views


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At 8.30 the local post office in Eyeries opens up and I am their very first customer of the day. I hand over a big box with 5 kg of lugage that I have decided not to use anymore during this trip. The lady takes 20 minutes to make sure that the parcel is wrapped in so much tape that it will arrive home safely even when it would fall of the plane. I start today’s hike with a great feeling of relieve; I estimate that I still carry some 12 kg’s on my back but it’s a huge improvement.

I leave Eyeries northbound and after some gentle up and downhill km’s, during which I pass some local speedwalkers, the trail leads to the local coastal road directly next to the Atlantic. The weather is again very good, with a few clouds here and there, a lot of blue sky and temperatures of around 20 degrees. After 6 km’s the trail leads to the northeast, into the fields. Shortly after it leads parallel to the Lake Fedda.

Along Lake Fedda

Along Lake Fedda

Along the lake the trail is very well marked but it leads through 1.5 km of marshland: here and there the water that stays on the soil is up to 30 cm’s deep. I manage to keep my hiking boots dry by putting on my rubber croqs! After the marshlands to road to the village of Ardgroom (one shop, several B&B’s) is easy, but narrow. The trail continues to use the regular road for a few more km’s and then crosses the fence and goes through the fields eastbound, straight up the hill.

Crossing the fence

Crossing the fence

By the time I arrive up the hill, at the isolated section of today’s hike, the weather has changed and the increasing wind announces that it will raining within shortly. In the fields in the next km’s the signs are not so easy to be found, and it starts to rain pretty bad. After half an hour I reach the section where it goes down the hill, using an easy fieldroad. After one hour of rain it becomes dry again, but it remains cloudy. Before I arrive down the hill there is another marshy section that needs to be covered. The trail leads fortunately through some rocks to guarentee dry feet to the hikers. Directly after this section I cross the first (very low) trees during my hike in Ireland. When I arrive on the regular local road the trail traverses a few more km’s (pretty endless) untill it reaches the wide spread village of Lauragh (one B&B, one church).

I stay for the night in the B&B Mountain View. The ladyhost is very interested in the trail on the Beara peninsula, the E8 in general, and she also knows the trails to and from Lauragh from her own experiences, which is valuable.

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