21/9/14 - 21/9/14
I started the day in a different way today - with pancakes! Unfortunately they were not great - served me right for deviating from the routine. On the topic of deviations, our host convinced us to take the mountain option instead of the boring, flat road option. "Go over the mountain", he said. "It'll be fun", he said. So, with the promise of amazing views and less risk of being run over by cars, we boldly set off to climb our mountain. And climb it we did! It was hard slog, but truly magnificent 360 degree views from the top made it all worthwhile. Belinda took some stunning photos up there, but don't know that any of them really captured the pain.
Going up the mountain had been described as being a "short, sharp" climb, but getting down the other side turned out to be a "long, prickly" climb. The track all but disappeared, and was replaced by prickles and blackberries and bracken. And hedges. And barbed wire fences, which we were supposed to just leap over.
Basically, the way down the mountain was a badly described and completely unmarked route, full of peril and danger. Pat the Conqueror to the rescue! He boldly went ahead and fell in holes and was ensnared by blackberries and sliced through ferns twice his height - and then calmly pointed out the safest place for us to put our feet. Neville and TVHC had to get a lift in the backpack for this - their knees and ankles just couldn't cope.
Murphy's in Ballyferriter offered welcome respite - lunch, and the end of the juniors gaelic football final (up Kerry). Simon then changed his name to BuKerry and decided to stay and watch the seniors match, and booked a taxi to our final destination for the night.
The rest of us slathered ourselves in sunscreen, and were immediately spotted as Aussies for doing so. Off we went again, this time across much more benign terrain - along the flat beach, along the flat grass, and along the flat path.
We arrived at the pub in Ballydavid just in time to see the Kerry captain presented with the cup, and to hear his speech. Much, much longer than a typical AFL speech, and much more entertaining with the lilting Irish accent.
The next part of the route was along a cliff, which would definitely have required some serious fence action, had it been in Australia. We bravely took responsibility for our own safety and admired the deep dark blues of the ocean without falling off the edge.
We continued along the Way, even more than we should have. We realised that our accommodation was several OFF the Way. Turned around, went back, started grumbling. We then walked past what our instructions told us were the only places for dinner that night, which increased the grumbling tenfold - "I'm not walking 2km for dinner, I'm just going to eat Pringles, stupid restaurant" etc. Then, despite our very useless instructions, we found our B&B&B (not a typo - bed and breakfast and Buccas). Our host drove us back to Ballydavid to the pub for dinner, so the Pringles were spared. It was a slightly terrifying drive, but we made it there alive. Dinner was a great relief, but I was more than a little bit miffed when everyone else's salad had strawberries in it but mine was distinctly strawberry free. It was a tough day, but at the end of it all, nobody had cried and we were all still alive.