This morning we left from Camp which is inland on the peninsula and took the path straight to the sea. Our destination was Annascaul, home and birthplace of Irish icon Tom Crean, famous South Pole explorer. This will be significant later.
Yesterday's element was wind. Today's element was water and boy did the rain come. We started out at about 9 a.m. and we walked in rain for 3 hours. At times it was a complete downpour for several minutes, hence the title. The terrain was like a grassy gravel road which allowed us to keep a pretty fast pace. Our intent was to reach Inch Strand beach which made a good stopping point because it had a cafe .
The rain broke just shortly before we approached Inch Strand and we got our first glimpse of the sea that we will follow for the next several days. Off and on we have been walking alongside a solo hiker named Kirsten from Germany. We have been somewhat envious of this ginormous red poncho like thing she has that fits over her body and her backpack so she doesn't need a separate cover for her each. We call her "Little Red Riding Hood". We ate lunch with her at the Inch Strand Cafe and exchanged stories about other travels.
After lunch we made our final approach to Annascaul. If I had choose another prevalent element earth would have been a close second. I have never stepped in so much mud in my life. Squish squash. We reached Annascaul which is a small charming village. We are usually so tired that we opt to eat first and shower later. We ate at "The South Pole" which is the bar formerly owned by none other than the famous Tom Crean. The bar is a wonderful tribute to his life with old pictures and written stories everywhere. They even have the timeline of his life painted on the ceiling. I enjoyed some Jameson Gold and Amy has been enjoying the recent award winning Dingle Gin.
The trip is just the right amount of challenge for us. Ireland is a truly beautiful country and the Irish people are so welcoming.
- Miles: 11.5
- Steps: 29,000
- Floors climbed: 51
- Raindrops: Bazillion
- Soaked muddy boots: 4
- Number of hikers we saw: 5
- Number of sheep and cattle: lost count