Done and dingled
22/9/14 - 22/9/14
The final day of walking started well - we were up and away early, and chatted and sang as we strolled along the road. The chatting stopped abruptly when we realised that we hadn't seen our yellow man for awhile, and appeared to be walking away from the mountain we were supposed to be climbing. Feck.
We consulted the map (and a local farmer) and discovered, to our horror, that we were going The Wrong Way. Gah! Getting back on track was easy enough, it just meant we'd added a few extra kilometres. Not really what we were hoping for.
We stopped for 7up to celebrate going the right way again, and then headed towards Mount Brandon. It seemed to take forever to get there, and all the while we vowed we would never miss a yellow man sign again.
Once at the mount, we promptly ignored the yellow man sign. He was standing out in the middle of nowhere, and the other option was a well-formed track. We chose track - until the map told us otherwise. Yellow man then became a much more frequently appearing and easy to follow sign as we progressed up the shoulder of the mountain. Yesterday had been a "short, sharp" climb but today's was long and painful. Plenty of stops to admire the view along the way... and oh, the relief when we made it to the top! There were photos a-plenty, picknicking and reapplying of sunscreen - yet another gloriously sunny day. I would have appreciated the temperature being a few degrees cooler, but was quite happy about the lack of rain situation.
Yet again, the descent was nearly harder than the ascent - not as many prickles as yesterday, but plenty of holes and slippery rocks and sludge. Knees and ankles were really unhappy at this point, but we all made it off the mountain with all limbs still functioning.
As we walked towards Brandon, we got stuck in a traffic jam of sheep. You know you're in Ireland when that happens. At the end of the Brandon loop, we stopped for refreshments at our third Murphy's pub in three days. We then proceeded to miss our turn off. Again. Adding yet another kilometre to the trip. What a bunch of eejits!
The home stretch seemed to stretch on and on and on, but we stayed true to the yellow man this time and made it to Cloghane with triumphant (and tired) smiles on our faces. Made it!
The highlight of tonight's dinner was my entree - chicken goujons of amazingness. Best chicken goujons EVER. What a way to finish the Way! Zzzzzzz....