After spending the night in Tralee the start of our walk began today. Today's path was from Tralee to Camp. Amy and I ate a traditional Irish breakfast and our hosts Joe and Antoinette sent us on our way with a sack lunch. We took the obligatory selfie in front of the official start sign and off we went.
The terrain started off easy on the road until we got to the part of the trail that traverses the lower slopes of the Slieve Mish mountains. We were completely exposed and it was incredibly windy. Every other step moved our bodies a few inches and sometimes a whole foot to the right. The view was spectacular with large grassy hills and brown mountains to the left and the Tralee Bay to the right. Clouds rolled in and onward exposing the sun sporadically beautifully lighting the terrain.
The trail was very rocky, boggy and muddy and required crossing several streams and a few rivers via metal footbridges. There were several fences and gates separating property lines and in order to get through them you use something called a stile. It is essentially a ladder made of metal or wood of varying heights to allow you to climb over the fence.
The terrain changed for the last three miles into mostly a boggy grassy path or a gravel road. This is where we pulled out our raincoats for the first time. We got fairly wet but thankfully were never cold as we learned later from a local that today was unseasonably warm. Our last turn of the trail led right to Ashe's Pub for an Irish coffee, hot beef and lamb stew and warm apple tart and ice cream for dessert. I'm sure you can imagine how satisfying the meal was.
I close with some stats:
- Miles: 12.5
- Steps: 35,000
- Floors climbed: 75
- Stiles: 12
- River & Stream Crossings: 4 rivers and too many streams to count
- Number of other hikers we saw: 1
- Number of sheep and cattle: lost count