|Date||Wednesday 24 August 2016|
|Distance stage||30,0 km|
|Distance acum.||2.959,5 km|
|Quality of signs||very good|
|Quality of the hike||A (excellent): hills and great ocean views|
|Link to Strava|
After a long day of travelling I arrive at 18.00 at the island. I hike to the top of the highest hill by following the mountain way. The weather is great and the forecast for tonight is very good. When darkness has settled over the west of Europe I have my photogear ready and I make a startrail picture of the old tower at the top of the hill.
The next morning I collect all of my lugage (that’s a lot!) and I hike towards the southwest end of the Island, to the wale watching point. There is no wale in sight and I turn around and start my way to the east, starting the E8 at its most western point. After crossing the Island and the spectacular ride with the cablecar I start my hike on the mainland of Ireland at 10.15. The trail is very well marked with sign poles of approx. 1.5 meters high which are situated strategically: from one pole you can usually easily see the next one which you need to walk to. After climbing up and down the hill north of the cablecar the trail passes the small beach in the bay of Garinish. The weather is sunny but not too warm and there are few people outside.
The trail continous up and along the hills towards the village of Allihies (one shop, several B&B’s). Close to the beach before the village there is a camping site which is mainly populated by camper vans. There are only a few people on the beach, this part of Ireland is really remote from any population of any significance. It is tempting to stop here for the day and enjoy the Atlantic beach. However, Allihies is too early for me to stop, I have planned to stop in the next village, Eyeries, or even one further, Ardgroom. After Allihies the trail goes up the hill, which is tough for me carrying the huge backpack that I have with me (including bivouacking gear, photo gear, water, etc.). After passing the top of the hillrange north of Allihies the trail goes wonderfully straight gently down the hill, towards Eyeries. At the end of the day it is still a long way to get there, but the weather continous to be great, the views are really nice, and I can’t resist the big dark blackberries that grow on the side of the road.
I spend the night in a B&B just outside the village of Eyeries (two shops, one post office, several B&B’s, one restaurant). I really have to reduce the weight that I am carrying: continuing like this will make the next couple of days an ordeal; that’s not what the E8 is about, it should be abount having fun!